Memory Trigger 23. Comparison.

This is not the first time that I have come across this image. It is poignant for all the right reasons and resonates with me for many reasons, the least being it  reminding me of the famous Helen Keller quote – “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet”.

The Keller quote however, reminded me of two of the great lessons of life that I had the privilege of learning from a great mentor.

The year was 1981. The event, the annual Cricket Match between the Sales Managers and the Rest played every year at our Mill location in the South of India. This was one major event looked forward to by all every year and it was always a festive affair. The match would be over before lunch time in the morning and it would be followed by a great deal of beer drinking and a sumptuous meal in fellowship.

I used to represent the Sales Managers and would open the bowling for them. I was also a dependable batsman down the order. I did this every year from 1974 till 1980. In 1981 however I could not play due to my hips having given up on me. I was miserable watching the proceedings and my misery was perhaps quite obvious as my then boss, sitting next to me in the pavilion, who asked me why I was so sad. On hearing my disappointment with my hips not cooperating, he quoted Helen Keller.

That was the last time that I ever complained about my disability or compared myself with anyone else.

My boss continued to be my boss till 1987 when I took over from him on his retirement. He continues to be a very dear friend till today and though with his own disabilities, he laughs when I remind him of his mentoring me during the cricket match.

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10 Responses to Memory Trigger 23. Comparison.

  1. Affecting anecdote. Perspective is usually hard-won. Will follow, thanks for following mine.

  2. Impressive boss. I’m glad you were fortunate enough to have him.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Computer Backups

  3. tammy j says:

    this little fellow is staying with me in my mind. that image is worth a thousand words for sure.
    I too have always liked Helen’s quote.
    and there’s a whole poem like that actually. I can’t remember who wrote it now.
    I once complained to my Gram that I didn’t like my hands.
    she said “they are good hands. serviceable! be grateful that you even HAVE hands!” I was a teenager then. I remember it well. and I substitute the word hands for whatever my complaint might be if I forget and complain now.
    tammy j recently posted..that day in the middle of february

  4. nick says:

    So much misery and resentment is caused by comparing yourself unfavourably with other people. I compare myself all the time but not unfavourably. I just shrug my shoulders and accept that someone else may be more attractive, or intelligent, or knowledgeable, or whatever, but I’m happy being me so it really doesn’t matter.

  5. I do compare my disabilities with others – no magic surgery or pill – will make any of them work better.
    Walking is about the best I can do in fast motion – as for my Hands, they are mind into their own…

    I have to consider all kinds of human normal activities to fit in with said hands, most of those activities relate to easily accomplishing fine motor skills… although in a way I do manage a lot. Just not easily.

    one of my friends, had to have a hand splint, recently that caused her a great deal of grief – one of things she did was phone me to say “sorry…sorry, I made you do all those things on Tuesday nights when you broke your arm and had plaster for near on 2 months”

    I didn’t like to tell her, that her splint could come off whereas I was trapped in my plaster – it was a kind gesture.

    now she has another splint as she broke 2 fingers on her left hand…had a lot of curtailed outings because it was difficult to change gears/car…

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