When ‘The Wonder Women World’ sent a mail in the beginning of August stating that the theme of this month would be ‘appreciation’, it made me think and wonder. What were those things that I was or should be appreciative of?
My list started with the usual suspects… my parents, family, friends and it just kept getting longer as I thought of all the people and circumstances that had helped me reach where I am today.
At some point it reached to the part where I started pondering over what my country has given me and whether I appreciate it enough. (Independence Day and the recently acquired NRI status had quite a hand to play with those notions)
I’ve always felt that though I love my country, I am not one of those who can proclaim that love from rooftops (I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I am one of those sleepy Joes who promise themselves to get up at the crack of the dawn on national holidays… so we can dress in the colours of the tricolour, just in time for flag hoisting and click pictures but end up switching off the alarm promptly as it threatens to disturb the beauty sleep)
Having admitted to my human frailties, allow me to resurrect my image in your eyes. In my defence, I can say that I had never ever thought of leaving it and it was after a lot of deliberation that I eventually gave in. And the fact, that I have always appreciated the freedom that my country has given me… especially in light of the fact that not so long ago my ancestors didn’t have the privileges that we now blatantly use, abuse and misuse.
As we celebrate 73 years of our country’s independence, I urge everyone to take time out to appreciate what our country has given us. Ours is a diverse land not only in terms of languages and cultures but also in terms of topography. We are blessed to enjoy the fruits that this diversity brings in and yet more often than not, all we do is; reach out and pluck those fruits that we assume are rightfully ours. Do we ever pause to question ourselves- what are we giving back in return?
Forget giving back, we don’t even have an ounce of gratitude to show for what this country has given us. The sense of entitlement runs so deep in us that if anything is denied to us, we behave like petulant children.
We have taken out freedom for granted for far too long. This Independence Day, let’s try to undo that. Let’s remind ourselves of the selfless sacrifices that our ancestors made for us. They went to the gallows knowing fully well that they will not live to see an independent India. And yet they united, putting their differences aside, to fight bravely, so that we may not have to suffer as they did.
Instead of concentrating on our differences we need to look for reasons to stay together so we can make our country great again; something that our freedom fighters envisioned for us. Let’s appreciate our soldiers and their families who stand in the line of fire so we can sleep peacefully. We need to inculcate the attitude of gratitude in our children so they never take their country for granted. Let us leave them a legacy they can be proud of!
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