I heard a beautiful story of a college professor in New York who gave his business-economy students the assignment of going into the slums and finding 10 students each to interview. Then, the university students had to prepare reports on each of the 10 children they had interviewed. The final item of the assignment was for the students to rate each child’s chance of success in the world.
So, the students all completed their assignments. With 20 students in the class, the professor ended up with 200 papers on 200 different children living in the slums. Every single report ended the last question of “What are this child’s chances of success in the world?” with the same answer: “This child has no chance.”
Twenty or thirty years later, another professor at the same college came upon these 200 old reports in the economy department’s filing cabinets. He thought it would be interesting to see whether all 200 children had really turned out to be victims of their impoverished, crime-ridden upbringings.
Amazingly, over 90% of the children who had “no chance” had turned out to be successful doctors, lawyers or professionals. The professor was astonished and went to each one to ask what had helped him or her become a success. Every single respondent (now they were middle aged) said, “Well, there was this one teacher I had who changed my life and gave me the ability to succeed.”
The professor finally found this one teacher who had changed the lives of all the children. When he found her, she was past ninety and very frail. He asked her how she had possibly taken these impoverished children who had no chance of success in the world and turned more than 90% of them into successful professionals. The old woman looked at the professor very simply, smiled and said, “I just loved those children.”
The power of love….enough to give hope to the hopeless, enough to turn failures into successes, enough to make lives worth living.
The teacher had not done any special program, nor had she taught the children any special skills. None of them recalled a particular lesson, activity or project. Rather, the simple fact that she loved them and believed in them was enough to change their lives.
We all have this power to transform not only ourselves, but others. Yet, do we use it? Do we take the divine gift of love in our hearts and use it as much as possible, to help as many as we can?
These last several days have marked the special occasion of Janmashtami, the birthday of Bhagwan Krishna. When we look at the message of His life, we can see that He taught us, Love, Love and Love all. From the moment He was 6 days old, He had enemies. So many demons and asuras came to kill Him. But, what did He do? Did He fight them with anger? Did He hate them? Did He send them forever to Hell? No. He granted them all liberation.
Wherever Bhagwan Krishna went — whether it was to palaces, to the simple hut of Vidurji, to the gardens of Vrindavan — He brought only His divine love. His divine love changed not only the lives of all those who met Him during His physical presence on Earth, but the ever-present love He continues to shower upon us change all who open their hearts to it.
At this time when we celebrate His birth and celebrate His assurance that He will CONTINUE to come, whenever there is strife, whenever there is darkness and whenever we need Him, let us take to heart His divine message of
“Love All, Hate None. Heal All, Hurt None.”
God has given us a special ability to touch others with our smiles, to change a life with a simple warm embrace, to bring meaning to the lives of others by our love. We must use this divine gift and never let it go in vain….
Flowers blossom under the warm rays of the sun, and the flowers of our lives — our children, our families, and all those around us — will blossom only under the warm rays of our love.
If we learn how to love others, really, truly love them, not for who we want them to be, but rather for who they are — for the perfect souls that God has created — then we have learned one of the greatest lessons of life.