2016 Aug 18
by Shamila Naleer
Little Thinu looked up at the doctor as he continued to examine him. Placing the stethoscope on his chest, the doctor gave Thinu a small smile and told him to take a deep breath. The young boy took the biggest breath his lungs could manage and slowly exhaled. I wish I could hear my heart, Thinu thought to himself. I wish I could hear a hundred beating hearts.
Following the check up, Thinu looked at his mom with curious eyes as they journeyed home.
“Mom, can I be a doctor when I grow up?” he asked eagerly.
Chuckling, she replied, “Of course, you can Thinu.”
He looked out the window and watched the clouds fly by. Smiling to himself, he whispered, “I’ll be the best doctor ever.”
As they slowed to a stop at the traffic light, an old, rugged man with unkempt hair and a scraggly beard approached the car. He held a tattered piece of cardboard in his hand. The only word large enough for Thinu to read was “cancer”.
Giving the man Rs.50, Thinu’s mother rolled the window shut.
“Mom, what’s cancer?” he questioned.
Hesitantly, she said, “Well, it’s a sickness. Sometimes, you can treat it with medicine, but sometimes you can’t”, she continued. “It costs a lot of money to get that treatment, and sometimes, people just can’t afford it.”
“But why?” he asked, feeling a bit sad.
“That’s just life Thinu”, she said as she resumed driving when the traffic light turned green.
Well, I’m going to change that, Thinu thought. I’ll help these people one day and they won’t have to beg on the streets. I’ll look after them.
Dreams start small and begin when we are young. All of us aspired to be someone when we grew up, but not everyone hoped to be just one thing; one day you hope to be a pilot and the next thing you know, you want to be an astronaut. When did we stop hoping and dreaming like the 5 year old versions of ourselves?
As we grow older, we’ve all heard the phrase “that’s life” at least once. You suffer a streak of unlucky events; that’s life. School gets harder year by year; that’s life. You work hard, but you see no results; well, that is life. How long has it been since you told yourself that “life” was hindering you from what you want in life and what you want to do with it; when did life start becoming a barricade?
A child’s dream is always more or less genuine. Their stream of thoughts isn’t blocked by a dam of speculation. Most of the time, they do not worry about earning in millions, nor are their dreams stained by money-mindedness. They see what they see and hope to do the best they can to better the world we live in.
Blaming the hardships on life is easy, but admittedly it never really gets you anywhere. We need to root ourselves firmly to the ground and brave the hits life supposedly throws at us. Encourage kids to believe in their dreams and have faith in themselves. If we sow the seed at a young age, it takes root deep within children’s minds and these are the kids who usually and eventually grow up to achieve their goals.
We need to stop sitting back as we get knocked down and we need to quit saying “that’s life” for all the things that have happened to us. Don’t use life as an excuse for failure; use it as a beacon of light to help you climb up the ladder of success. Protect the hopes you had as a child. Make them a reality.