Vikram was a straight-A student. He was good at sports and other extracurricular activities too. In each parent-teacher meeting, teachers used to shower praise on him. Vikram had everything going in his way, and his parents couldn’t be more proud. But his mother felt something was amiss.
“Being good at studies is one thing, but what about his conduct everywhere else?” she would often mumble to his father. She wanted Vikram to become a good human, who is grateful for everything life has offered him. But all her efforts to teach her son the value of gratitude were in vain.
The lesson came disguised as a pandemic outbreak.
With almost the entire country under lockdown, there was no office or school to go to.
“Vikram, Mukesh will not be coming in for a few days. All of us need to take care of the chores,” Vikram’s mother announced. Unwillingly, he started with the tasks. Vikram made his bed, dusted his room, watered the plants, and ironed his clothes. Tired, he fell onto the sofa and looked around. For the first time, he noticed there was so much to do around the house.
As the situation outside worsened, Vikram’s understanding of the efforts that go into chores became stronger and deeper. He thought about his parents, and even Mukesh, their domestic help. Vikram never gave them enough credit for making his life comfortable and easy.
Vikram couldn’t stop thinking about how he used to speak without compassion and gratitude.
You still haven’t ironed my uniform? I’ll miss my bus, Mom!
Where is my breakfast, Mukesh? It’s taking you forever.
Feeling apologetic, Vikram rushed to his mother and hugged her. “I’m sorry, mom. I have been so rude to everyone. I promise I will never misbehave or say mean things from now on. I will do all the chores around the house if you want, mom.”
Wiping Vikram’s tears, his mother smiled at him and said, “Vikram, we don’t need you to do all the chores. But you need to start appreciating people when they do something for you. All you need to do is smile and say ‘thank you’ in return. That’s all it takes.”
Vikram learned the most important lesson of his life—the importance of gratitude that makes the fabric of the human spirit. From that day onwards, he never missed saying thank you or sorry whenever it was due; it was as if his heart had grown in size. He was proud of himself and so was his mother.