See If You Can

When I was a little girl, my family used to live in a small quiet town in the south of Bangladesh. Every night there was a long load shedding. The whole neighbourhood would be dark, creating a surrealistic atmosphere. With no electricity, people had nothing to do and we, as kids, had our playtime. It was one such ordinary night which was also, coincidentally, a full moon. I remember my mother was singing a beautiful Tagore song, playing on her harmonium. Suddenly she stopped and said, ‘What beautiful moonlight!’ My father started to appreciate the moonlight as well. So, I ran to my mother and asked with excitement, ‘Where is the moonlight?’. Mother pointed her fingers outwards and said, ‘Look, on the coconut leaves!’. I looked and tried so hard, but all I saw was the coconut leaves.

It wasn’t until about 20 years from that night that I looked back and suddenly realized what was being told to me. By that time, I had grown up as one shy, lonely person who had a hard time finding things to trust, appreciate, and love. So, one day I sat myself down and challenged the way I looked at the world around me. I tried to see not the people, but what they were reflecting. I gathered the courage to evaluate an event not based on what it was, but what caused it. If that isn’t magic, then I don’t know what is! I soon forgave many of the people who wronged and hurt me. I was even able to put myself in their situation and to understand why they might’ve done what they’d done. As they say, you only need to forgive once but to resent is a lot of work as you need to resent every single day. As a result, I became happier and healthier. I had more time to invest in positive works that’d grow me. I finally saw all the mistakes of my life as seeds that, together with all my right decisions, made myself into the person that I love so much today. 

I find it amusing how we have unlimited access to great knowledge, yet willingly limit our understanding of that. There are many magnificent sayings which have become just sayings through the process of being said it too many times. A classic example would be, ‘Know Thyself’. We all know what is meant but often miss grasping how important it is that we actually do it! Knowing who we are, what we have done to come here, what we want and what we are willing to do to get there can be the key to fulfilment. I have seen students fighting over marks without caring for learning. I have known people destroying their health and relationships over earning more money without having an idea of what they need that money for. I have witnessed people belittling others without acknowledging their own shortcomings. To be honest, I, myself have done worse until I found the simple trick to have better control over my thoughts. Thus today, not only did I forgive others, but I forgave my ‘yesterday’ self too.

Not all great things are readily visible; not all precious words are loud. Only those who are willing to see and eager to listen may get access to those gifts. But know that it is you who can change your reality. All that is required is your willingness to ‘see’. I indeed have a long way to go until I heal, but, at least now, when it is a full moon, I know where to look to see the moonlight!


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