Small Things Make a Big Difference
“The conventional Happy New Year approach is to think of the New Year as something that happens outside of our selves. It is a good luck wish that the New Year, in some magical way, will bring us our heart’s desire. We look to the New Year to make us happy. When we expect happiness to come to us from the outside, we are usually disappointed. Happiness is not guaranteed by sunny weather, a raise in pay, a new car, a beautiful home or anything else of a material nature. External things are often possessed by very unhappy people. Happiness does not come out of a New Year, it comes out of men and women. Life does not change when we hang a new calendar on the wall or when the clock strikes midnight and a New Year begins. The only way life will change for us is when we change ourselves” - Wilferd A. Peterson Small Things Make a Big Difference Very few people justify the meaning of their name. I hardly met anyone until I met Feroz. I have known Feroz for last 3 years. He is an employ of our society association and is supposed to take care of the walkways and horticulture. This is the job for someone very young as Feroz is quite aged and debilitated to do all this. It is a tough decision for the management to replace Feroz due to his allegiance. 1st January, 2012 - India was cold like dawn of every New Year. I have always been an early bird and my morning walks have been the routine for last 7 years. It was nothing unusual that day as well. It was very cold and all I can see outside my apartment was mist and fog. But there was no excuse to miss my routine. Finally, I wore my shoes to head for my very first walk of the first day of 2012. There was complete silence and it was like everyone had an all-night celebration. I could hardly see my friends around and it was quite expected. The fog was slowly settling and rays of sun were trying to appear from far behind the clouds. It was a sight of beauty and appreciation. God has made nature so soothing and warm. But the only sad part was the littered stuff around the garden walkways. It was very cold and hard to expect anyone to be awake to clear all the walkways at 5 am in the morning. I was displeased to walk on the dirty, littered walkways and decided to go back home. It was not very convincing to start my first day of the year with a disenchanted feeling. I was about to leave when I saw Feroz cleaning the other part of the garden. I walked up to Feroz as it was quite strange to see him. He looked at me and like always, there was a smile on his face. Cleaning the walkway, Feroz politely wished me, “Happy New Year, Amma (he addresses me ‘Amma’)”. My question was quite visible on my face and I asked promptly, “How come you are here and doing all this that too on the very first day of 2012. Is it not a new year for you?” Feroz looked so contented while responding to my question, “Amma, it is just a day like any other day. If I will not do who will then do it for all of you. I do not want people to walk on dirty walkways. It is the first day of the year so they should feel good and special. It is like any other day for me and my job starts with the same.” He reminded me of something that I read long time back – “New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights” - Hamilton Wright Mabie It was good to see someone so dedicated and human at heart. Like other staff members he could have taken a day off but he woke up early and came for all of us. I decided to join him in cleaning the garden. It was not for him but for myself as somewhere I felt fortunate that I came for walk that morning. I learned a very important fact that year is changing but it is like any other new day for all of us. I could relate to the words of Wilferd A. Peterson – ‘‘……Life does not change when we hang a new calendar on the wall or when the clock strikes midnight and a New Year begins. The only way life will change for us is when we change ourselves” A thought came to my mind that we party all night, booze and feed ourselves. We leave the place in high spirits and determined resolutions though we make the surroundings dirty for others to clear our littered stuff. Is it not a new day of a New Year for all those who clear our stuff, the very next morning? When they can take the initiative to wake up early and make the place clean for us, can’t we also take a small initiative that we will drink, party and enjoy but keeping our surroundings clean so that everyone has a ‘New Year’, the very next day. Feroz means ‘fortunate’ and I felt fortunate after meeting him on the first day of 2012. It is true that ‘small things’ can make a ‘big difference’ in our lives. Let us make an effort to change ourselves to make our planet a better place to live.