“Please stand up and give a round of applause for our one and only Principal Mr. Kevin.” The lady at the podium announced and the entire crowd got up and started clapping for Mr. Kevin. It was the annual conference of St Mary and Mr Kevin was retiring today from his services after giving 35 valuable years of his life to the school.
A person with crutch on both side was trying hard to get on the stage and after watching it the lady on the podium rushed to help that handicapped man but the man refused to her help and put extra effort and got into the stage by himself. It was none other than the Principal Mr. Kevin, the entire hall was echoing with the thundering claps of parents, teachers and students.”
The lady on the podium welcomed Mr. Kevin and she turned aside. Mr Kevin turned towards the lady and said “Thank you for offering me the help and at the same time I’m sorry for not accepting it.”
There was a silence in the hall and everyone was anxiously listening to the words of Mr. Kevin, everyone in the school was fond of Mr. Kevin.
“If today I would have accepted your helping hand then tomorrow I might look forward for another helping hand which in result would increase my dependency on another help.” Mr Kevin turned towards the podium to address the conference.
“I always asked my father during my childhood that why my legs are not like others? Why do I need to take help of crutch for walking while others could run and play by themselves?” Mr Kevin paused for a while.
There was complete silence in the conference hall of St Mary and everyone was eagerly and curiously listening to the journey of Mr. Kevin’s life.
“I’ve never talked about my disability or my background ever before but today I will speak about it as it might change the perception of few towards their lives. The perception of disappointment, the perception of helplessness, the perception of scarcity.” Today Mr Kevin was away from his normalcy as he never likes talking about his disability or his underprivileged family background but today he was in the mood of describing his journey of life.
“I hail from very poor background and my parents were barely concerned for their child’s health or any other crisis as the only and prime focus of everyone in the family was to gather food so that each family member gets a fair share of the food portion and nobody stays empty belly.”
It was a matter of shock for everyone in the hall as nobody knew that Mr. Kevin comes from such a poor background, but at the same time a sense of respect emerged in everyone’s mind for Mr. Kevin’s struggle of changing the fate and destiny of his own life.
“I was very fond of school dress and uniform from the beginning and I use to stare children going to school in those uniform. Lot of times I requested my parents to get my admission in a school so that I can also wear a proper school uniform and go to the school but my parents would always deny due to my disability.”
Mr. Kevin rearranged his crutch as his crutch was slipping away but this time the lady did not offered any of her help and Mr Kevin smiled and continued.
“My parents never wanted their handicap son to go anywhere out of their sight as the concern regarding his disability was the prime reason. Though this use to create immense disappointment inside me but every day in the morning I use to ask my parents for taking admission in the school as I was a stubborn child”
Mr Kevin smiled on the comment of his stubbornness and paused for a while. The eyes and the ears of every individual present in the hall was tuned towards the journey of Mr. Kevin’s life.
“One fine morning I started again and this time I went too loud, my mother came and after holding me explained that I cannot go to school because of the physical disability and it was not just school I cannot go anywhere without the help of anyone. The words went deep inside and I came out and sat on the roadside bench and started crying as the hope of wearing the uniform and going to school was lost.”
A five year old boy sitting on the roadside bench weeping and crying, it seems that his dreams and hopes have melted and they are coming out of his eyes in form of tears.But as we all know that if you have dreamt of something with a true spirit the entire world conspires to make your dream true. Mr Kevin continued.
“I was crying, weeping and sobbing but then I found a gentleman who came and stood in front of me. He put his hand over to my head and asked me the reason behind my disappointment. I told him the entire story.”
The conversation between Mr Kevin and the gentleman was so real for the crowd sitting inside the hall that they felt the conversation between both are happening in front of them.
“Do you want to go to school?” The gentleman asked the little boy.
“Yes, I want to go to school but due to my physical disability my parents are not allowing me to go to the school. I’m very angry with the god for giving me this form of physical disability.” Little boy replied to the gentleman.
“Everyone comes in this world with a reason and everyone has a gift of special power to overcome all the challenges and hurdles of the life. The god has created every one of us in the same category but there can be variation in the form. You should not complaint about your disability rather you should focus on your potential areas and explore them so that you can change your life as per your wish and desire you want to live.” Gentleman answered the little boy.
“But I’m too small to take any decisions of my life as my parents would always take decision for me as they find me incapable for this world.” The little boy replied.
“You do not worry about it and if you really desire to go to school than I would help you in that. Let’s go to and meet your parents and I would definitely convince your parents for allowing you to go to school.”
Both of them went and the gentleman discussed with the parents of the little boy and tried to understand their helplessness in not supporting their child’s dream. The parents were so poor that they would spent their entire day collecting and gathering food and if any one of them would take the little boy to school then it would cost a hungry belly for one of the family member.
The gentleman understood the situation and he revealed that he teaches in a government school and he would accompany the little boy to the school and would also take care of him and while returning back from the school he would drop the little boy.
The gentleman assured the parents that they do not have to worry about the books or fees as everything would be taken care by the local government bodies to promote education and literacy in the society. It solved the problems of parents and the little boy and the parents and little boy were happy.
The journey of the little boy started and every day he use to accompany the gentleman for going to school. The little boy was liking the school and the books and the copies, the uniform and the students. His liking towards the studies resulted him in getting in the list of brilliant students of the school and everyone started liking him.
Days passed by and one day while returning back from the school gentleman told the little boy, “Son. now onward I’ll not be accompanying you to the school as I ve got transferred to another school.”
It came as shock to the little boy who is a grown up boy now but his disability somehow stops him somewhere in considering himself as a grown up. He replied “How will I be able to go to school now, or is it the end of it?”
“No my Son, it is not the end, if you look at a flowing river you would find that despite various hurdles and obstacles the river never stops and creates its own way of flowing forward so you do not have to stop. And since you are not a little boy anymore so you need to start helping yourself so that you yourself become so strong that you start lending a helping hand to others rather than asking for a helping hand from others.” Gentleman’s words went deep inside the little boy. And it changed the whole perception of the little boy towards his life.
“Can anyone guess the name of the school where I went for my studies during my childhood or to be precise the name of school where I started my education?” Mr Kevin’s question brought every one back from the word of imagination to the world of reality.
People in the hall started whispering and tried guessing but no one was able to get a correct answer as nobody was aware of the background of Mr. Kevin.
“It is the same school where we all are sitting today or rather I should say St Mary.” It got everyone into surprise that how a disable child who had such a poor background became a principal of the school?
“The journey was not so easy but every day I took a step towards my dream and today I’m in front of you.” Mr. Kevin ended his speech and thanked everyone sitting in the hall, the entire hall got filled with thunderous clapping. Everyone stood and clapped for the journey of Mr Kevin with a sense of pride and respect.
Moral – The journey of thousand miles starts with a single step.
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