This is a story from India during the colonial days. Most of the people in the village worked as peasants for the village landlord and got a very small share of the crops and a token money in return for the hard work they put all day in the field.
One year the village witnessed one of the severest droughts ever. The crop failed and the villagers did not get anything in return from the landlord. Most of the villagers fled to the cities.
One of the villagers was particularly in a very bad state. His wife was suffering from malaria and in the absence of food or money, he was desperate.
One day he was sitting under the village tree and was thinking desperately about ways to get some money somehow so that he can take his wife and his children to the town, where he knew that somehow he would get some work. He then saw his cow wandering nearby munching the dried up patches of grass and bushes.
He suddenly had a thought to sell his cow. “Surely someone would like to buy her,” he thought.
The next day, early morning he started for the market. There, he stood under a tree and explained his plight to anyone who came and requested them to buy his cow. Nobody seemed to be the least interested.
The day wore by. The sun relentlessly shown on the barren landscape!
With sweat drenched dirty clothes and in the poor state of health he was in, he was looking a picture of the misery. As evening was approaching, he was losing all hope he had started with.
Then a merchant passed him. He looked at the peasant and with a sudden drive of compassion decided to help him sell the cow.
He asked a few questions and then, in a loud voice full of enthusiasm, he announced to the passersby, “Ladies and gentlemen, never let go an opportunity like this. This cow here, gives two bucketfuls of milk every day, morning and evening. Do not be mistaken by her health. It is just because she has recently given birth to a young calf.
This animal is of such an exceptional breed that last year she had won a prize during the agricultural exhibition of the neighboring village. My friend here has come to an urgent situation and is willing to part with her for a price that seems to me ridiculous for such a prize animal. Who amongst you realize that an opportunity like this does not come every day?”
Meanwhile, a small crowd gathered around them all willing to buy the animal. They all wanted to know the price. The merchant asked the peasant, “Well my friend, what is the price you expect? We have several buyers here”.
The peasant stood up and with head held high, declared with pride and arrogance, “This animal is mine. She is too good to be sold. I shall keep her.”
The first that comes to my mind is that we do not appreciate sufficiently what we have. Health, children, girlfriend or boyfriend etc, we take them all for granted without rejoicing each day for our luck. There are certain things that we feel we have a right to. We forget that certain people lack all those things.
Just imagine if you were born in a war-torn country…. Just imagine if you were born with no hands and no feet. We have to be grateful for what we have be it little, crooked or ugly because someone is dying to have that.
Sometimes it is necessary to have the look of others in order to become conscious of the value of what we have. We do not take the pain to explain the advantages of our proposal and often our remuneration is less because we do not make this effort towards the proposal.
One very thing is that, the man got to know the worth of the cow. Do you know your worth? You are not unimportant. You are worth more than you think. You could be going through a rough patch now. You could be down. You could be heartbroken but you are not unimportant. You are worth more! You are important to someone!! Someone looks up to you for inspiration. Someone looks up to you for ideas. It could be a younger brother or sister. It could be a neighbor. It could be a friend… just know that you are important and important to someone.
“Depression and self-pity seldom attracts anybody. Be enthusiastic and the whole world will look up to you. You can win only if you love what you have.” -Amit Kumar