Gratitude

Radhika Ramesh

Final Year MBBS

Grant Government Medical College and Sir JJ Group of Hospitals

 

You crawl your way out of your mother’s birth canal to settle into your new home. The environment is all set to welcome you and make your stay in it comfortable for life. You are now being held in your mother’s arms. How can you say for sure? You can feel her ‘touch’ on your delicate, pink, flushed skin.

You smile as her fingers brush through your rosy cheeks, gently caressing them. You are curious to know what she looks like. Your tiny eyelids open up, unleashing the beautiful ‘sight’ in front of you- your mother’s smile. Your tiny brown eyes, staring at her warm and loving face, only broadening your smile even further. What a great day to be alive, isn’t it?

I am certainly not sure if these are the thoughts running in the head of a newborn child. But certainly painted a beautiful and soothing picture doesn’t it? All said and done, as we jump from covering one age milestone to another, there is no split-second where we stop to extend our gratitude for our ability to perceive the marvels in our surroundings.

And why would we? One can never know the value of their possessions till they no longer possess them. Here I am, garnering all the strength in an effort to summarize the importance of the perception of senses. It is rhetorical when I ask, if I will ever be able to summarize something that is as vast and deep. But worth a shot.

“On a good day, I can pick up the cup, take a sip and return it to the saucer, and if you were sitting at the next table, you’d never know I was blind. The challenge is to see how long I can carry out the deception before the person sitting next to me realizes the truth. And believe me, the moment they do, they give themselves away. Some begin to whisper , and, I suspect, nod or point; some become attentive; while a few are so embarrassed they don’t speak again. Yes, I can even sense that.”
– The Blind Date by Jefferey Archer

Eyes are the gateway to the outside world. The sense of sight adds a certain meaning to our existence. Every sight around is worth seeing. The sight of the birds soaring away into unreachable heights, the sight of the rain pouring down hard onto the muddy earth, the sight of children dancing in the rain, free from all worries and enjoying the moment; these are just some of the many sights we see( though not all are as pleasant, but that is a discussion for another day). For an individual who is deprived of the sense of sight, it’s a curtain drawn to curtail them from watching life’s play. Not a day passes by, when the soul yearns to see the world. That being said, the blind are still immensely thankful for their other senses, and that for them is their biggest strength.

The ability to hear and speak.The thirst to voice their thoughts. They give a listening ear even if it means they have to resort to lip-reading. The world for the deaf and mute is like a silent film. At times, they form their own subtitles, yet other times, the world gives it to them. Are you resilient enough to sit the whole day watching TV, with the mute button on? In contrast, the deaf and mute are amongst the most expressive people I have had the fortune of bumping into. If nature messed with the wiring of their sound system, they have modalities to work it out as well. Sign language interaction between two people is by far, the most satisfying conversation I have been a witness to. The interaction is so flawless and easy. For these individuals, their gratitude for their senses is enormous.

Every adversity is turned into an advantage merely by appreciating what we have and taking efforts to value it, instead of yearning for what we may perceive as better.

Gratitude, thankful, respect, appreciation etc. are all the varied synonyms I may have used in this article. Yet the moral remains the same. A human can be complete, irrespective of the presence or absence of every functioning sense. All it takes is the ‘sense of understanding, in appreciating the importance and value of what we have now, for what we may perceive as a disadvantage to one, may infact be their biggest strengths. Be thankful for the existence and learn to appreciate every little aspect of the human body and its par excellence perceptual senses.

“It is not the senses that I have, but what I do with them that is my biggest kingdom.”

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