never say die


Imagine my surprise when a mail dropped by this morning from another land asking me whether I would give a motivational talk to the staff of a big organisation. The reason stated for choosing me was my can-do-never-say-die spirit.

The idea was daunting, particularly for one who has never liked centre stage. In spite of what some may believe, my tryst with the media was short lived as I realised that for most of them, one was just a good story, and my illusion that it had a role to play in making a difference was just that: an illusion. I just carried on my work strong in the belief that there was a reason to it, and as long as the reason remained, solutions would come.

Project why has been a one day at a time saga, often making it difficult if not impossible to really define its ambit. True we are an education support organisation but we also.. and the list becomes endless, as one takes on every challenge that comes our way and find a way out.

I wonder whether this is what comes out as a can-do-never-say-die attitude.

When I look back on the seven years of pwhy I must say in hindsight that there are many times when normal circumstances would have made one give up, or say no, or look away, I just know that I could not have.

How do you turn away from the wondrous eyes filled with pain that look at you from a scalded one year old baby, how do you send away a limping brave but worn out father who desperately seeks your help to fix his son's heart, or a mother who knows her child is dying?

Do you walk away when you know that your detractors want just that, knowing that in doing so you are trampling the dreams of so many children? Never mind the allegations, the broken tents, the bulldozed classrooms? Do you leave children to the jaws of predators lurking to suck them into their dark world just because of a threat? Do you give the complex administrative machinery the satisfaction of wearing you down to the point of saying, I am better off not doing anything.

It is not a never-say-die attitude. To me it is simply the only way worthy of anyone one with a modicum of a conscience. Anything else would have been not acceptable. So if I am to go and share the last seven years, it would be simply to say that sometimes it is not easy to be true to the little voice you hear inside you, one just has to and the doors open for you.

That is what the miracle call life is all about.