Flying Donkey

Friday, December 02, 2005

Visions of a Messiah - Part I

Fall twice, get up thrice

“You only have to get up one more time than you fall to succeed”, said the Messiah absent-mindedly as he took a bite out of the apple.

“What happens if you are really hurt and just can’t get up? What if you break your leg?” asked little Sameer, Sammy for short. Sammy was seven but was wise beyond his years. Messiah or not, sometimes what the old man said just didn’t make any sense. Sammy remembered last month, he had fallen off the swing and landed on his back. Forget about getting up, he could not even breathe.

“Well, you don’t have to get up immediately. You can take your time. As long as you get up, you’ll be OK,” said the Messiah, not really paying that much attention to Sammy. It was a nice clear day and he was having a jolly time lying down on the grassy knoll, looking at the few flecks of clouds desperately trying to hold their own against the sun.

“What about Neel? Doctors say he can never walk,” persisted Sammy. Neel was the neighbor’s 23 year old son. He was a horse polo player and showed great promise. Couple of years ago, he had broken his neck after falling off the horse during a polo game. Now he was paralyzed from the neck-down and was confined to a wheelchair.

That was enough to jolt The Messiah out of his reverie. He had been taking this kid too lightly. It was The Messiah’s day off and he wasn’t planning on doing any heavy lifting. He sighed and realized, taking a day off was probably too much to wish for. He was The Messiah after all. There were diseases to cure, lives to mend…just too much going on in the world.

“Sameer, getting up does not mean you have to physically get up and walk and run. It can be emotional and spiritual as well. Neel maybe hurt and unable to walk, but he is raising awareness about his medical condition. He has been able to collect more money for research on neurosurgery than any other person in the past. He has also been able to increase awareness about the handicapped people,” said The Messiah. He continued, “Before his accident, Neel was a good player and might have made a name for himself. Now, not only has he made a name for himself, but he has accelerated the pace of research in neuroscience. This not only brings people hope but also a promise of a better life.”

Little Sammy was silent for a while, “So, if I fall down from the swing next time and instead of crying and ruining everyone’s fun-time, if I just wait for pain to go away or go home to mommy, then I would have gotten up one more time then I had fallen?”

The Messiah took another bite out of the apple, leaned back and smiled. It might turn out to be his day off afterall.

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