May is observed as “Mental Health Awareness” month. For last 15 odd months humanity is going through extremely challenging times. In these times mental health is more important than ever. This week to spread awareness about mental health awareness month, I got an email at work. The email was highlighting importance of gratitude. Please allow me share a personal experience in this regard.
This year I have been (virtually) volunteering with an organisation which helps young girls. These girls are bright students but due to lack of resources, they are currently struggling. Our objective is simple. We hope to train them on various aspects (like preparing resume, appearing for group discussion or debate or interview skills), so they are able to enter corporate world. During last few weeks, I’ve had privilege of interacting with these girls every week. They all had a single aspiration to get job in a MNC. This is such simple and yet profound goal. The job is going to give them independence they all deserve. I am reasonably certain with right mentoring these girls would achieve that objective. These girls didn’t have exposure to right resources earlier. But now they’re making most of opportunity at their disposal. Initially most of the girls were afraid of speaking in front of the virtual class. Slowly that’s changing. They’re now able to speak decent English and put together few sentences like introducing themselves.
While looking back on some of things they’ve shared, it’s amazing how their aspirations or goals are so simple. Normally we’re so busy and focused on what we want, usually it doesn’t occur to (most of) us to stop and look around to see what we already have. In this rat race, somehow societies criteria to measure success are material things. Perception usually is very simple. Bigger the house, more successful you’re or those who drive expensive cars are considered rich. I don’t know how we got here.
During last 15 months on more than one occasion when I reflected on things, I realised having friends and family is more important than anything else. And I am forever grateful for having them in my life. In last few weeks, I have also learnt spending time with them is biggest stress buster and helps recharge faster. Once this lockdown is over, I am really looking forward to resuming weekend walks with wife….
PS – I wrote (actually typed to be more precise) this post on my phone in hospital lobby while waiting for my turn for COVID-19 shot. If things look out of norm, sincere apologies…