A few days back I was entering a competition and the formalities included for me to fill out a Contestant Profile form. One of the questions in the form was to list down my Notable Accomplishments. After a lot of thought I realized that I had nothing worthwhile to write in that column, which obviously left me thoroughly bewildered and obviously depressed.
In a couple of days, 5 days to be precise I will be completing a quarter of a century, 25 years on this blessed planet of ours. Through social conditioning and societal norms, I have come to accept the fact that this is supposed to be a landmark moment in one’s life. A time when you assess everything you have accomplished so far and also plan on where to go from here.
Well, by now you can imagine my predicament when I realized that I have so far not achieved anything notable, and I have no freaking clue of where I am heading. At this moment Quarter Life Crisis hits me in full swing. (for those of you who don’t know what that is: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-garrity/quarter-life-crisis-_b_2405995.html) . I sit there for days wondering why I like so many others my age, I have not been able to contribute anything worthwhile to mankind.
Before I start the real story, I want to acquaint you to the central character of my plot. My baby brother, he is 10 years younger to me, and called me mom until he turned 4. There is an age old tale about this very powerful magician, who hid his heart inside a parrot, so that nobody could kill him, by just attacking his body. In order to kill him, it was necessary to kill the parrot, because that is where the magician’s life really resided. To cut the long story short, If I were the magician, my baby brother would be the parrot!
Anyway so the story begins with me relentlessly trying to instill some very basic values in my brother, who believes at the age of 14 that men are a boon to the society and that they can go through life without really having to acknowledge and apologize for their mistakes. Like any responsible woman of the modern world, I was determined to change this thought. If not for anything else then for the sake of the girl he is someday going to marry.
For two months, I have tried every recipe in the book, to make him realize that saying sorry does not make a man weaker, it is in fact the proof of the strength of his character. Most grown men these days refuse to believe in this ideology, leave alone trying to teach a 14 years old such great wisdom.
Dejected from my lack of achievement and defeated from my brother’s disagreement to say sorry , I chose to hold my silence.
On this particular day, my brother’s antics had reached its pinnacle, and yet somehow I managed to hold my silence. I had decided I was not going to waste one more breathe on someone who is not willing to listen.
He had refused to eat lunch (which by now is a regular feature in my house), taken money and gone instead to buy a lemonade to treat his hunger, which only food can satiate. Knowing me well enough, he also knows that I love lemonade; so after teasing me, annoying me, being disrespectful to every single person in the house, he still could not go ahead and finish his lemonade without sharing it.
He said, “lemonade”. I looked up at him, with my fists clenched at my side I said, “No, thank you.” He went away. Only to return 5 minutes later and repeat the same routine. Again, all I said was, “No Thank you.”
At this moment came a sound, I never thought I would hear coming out of that mouth, he nudged me lightly and very softly said, “Sorry?”. I looked up at him in sheer disbelief and just to reconfirm asked him again, “What?”. He repeated, this time a little louder, “I am sorry”.
I gave him a stern look and accepted the lemonade, took a sip and gave it back to him. I did not want him to think I had taken his behavior lightly. But when he turned his back, I had the biggest smile on my face and a slight tear. I had taught a man, how to say sorry.
He does not realize it yet, but he has given me the biggest birthday gift I could have hoped for. 5 days before I hit 25, he has given me, my single greatest accomplishment. I have taught a man, that to look someone in the eye and apologize for your mistake, shows the strength of your character. It can never make u weak, for this is the virtue of only the very mighty.
Love Always, Xena