Sunday, October 14, 2012

Road Trip 2012- Day Eleven- The Choice is Ours

“It’s in your hands.” Prashan finishes telling a simple story at one of the assemblies, a story of  a little boy who, wanting to prove he was one step ahead of his wise old teacher had caught a butterfly in his hands, intending to present his teacher with a challenge, “Is this life or death?”
He had prepared for whatever answer his teacher might give, intending to crush and kill the butterfly if his teacher chose ‘life’ and to set it free if he chose ‘death‘. He had prepared to  have his teacher in a sticky spot, unable to give a correct answer. What he was not prepared for however, is the answer his teacher does give. “Son, it’s in your hands. The choice between life or death lies only in your hands.”
Our experiences in the All- Island School Relations Tour had already presented us with a lot of challenges, but today’s one was especially tough. Although we had been prepared for a workshop in Anuradhapura, we had been told at the last minute that permission for it had been declined. After all our preparation, this seemed like a tough blow. And yet, what we realized was that like that teacher had told the little boy in that story, the choice of giving up or trying to make things better with what we had was entirely in our own hands. Although we did face difficulties in doing what we wanted to, we did our best with what we did have and carried out an assembly that got an extremely positive response.
At the end of this assembly, feeling positive and enthusiastic, we head out towards our next destination- Puttalam. We are invited to Mussakir’s house for wattalappan and we are on the way when we spot what Akhila assuredly tells us are ‘big fans’. We stop near the windmills and, after spending a few minutes in this scenic location, the boys decide this would be the perfect spot to play a game of cricket. And so, all thoughts of wattalappan temporarily forgotten,  we do.  After quite a few interesting and adrenaline pumped moments, the demonstration of some fine cheerleading skills by the boys, and Shruthi the umpire inventing a variety of new hand signals, the morning’s troubles are now just a distant memory. We realize every situation really does have two sides- and the choice between them lies in our hands. It always does, and it’s up to us to make the right one.

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