Gratitude lightens up the home for the homeless
It was 14th November — A day which is celebrated as Children’s Day in the honor of the first Prime Minister of India — Jawahar Lal Nehru. We decided to visit some of the orphanages in Mumbai. Though it was an instantaneous decision, it required a lot of thought as to how we are going to approach them. We called few of the orphanages and got the appointment to visit some of them.
Snehasadan — a home for about 60 kids near Holy Family Church in Andheri was one of the orphanages that we decided to visit. We reached at around 1.30 when most of the kids were having lunch. We came to know that they are scheduled to have an Art & Craft class just after the lunch where they will assemble in a single room. And that was the opportunity provided to us to interact with them.
At around 2, when they all assembled for their class, we started interacting with them, asking them whether they have ever told thank you to anyone for any particular reason. The response from them made our task easier as they have been taught from the beginning to say thank you to everyone whosoever help them in any possible way. They told yes we do say thank you to everyone who visit our home and help us learn and donate anything for our development and growth. Though they were still in process of learning as to how gratitude can benefit them and can bring a change in their life, the basics of being grateful was something that was already fed to them.
We took a single session of around 20 minutes while playing few games where we tried our best to make them understand what gratitude is and why it is important for them and everyone to be grateful for each little, minor or a major thing. The best thing about the session which I felt was that the kids were keen to listen and ask questions which you rarely expect from the kids of age group of 8–10 years.
The moment we told them that we are going to provide them a pack of ThankU cards on which they can write a thank you note and give it anyone who helps them, their jubilant and excited faces were something that cannot be explained in words. The next moment when we handed the ThankU cards to them, they started using it instantly. They were so keen to say express their emotions. What it showed that these kids have the hunger to express themselves and spread the goodness around the world.
They wrote whatever they could and gave it to their Didi’s and Bhaiya’s who visit them time and again to teach them, to make them learn. We watched in silence the enthusiasm in these kids to express their gratefulness through our ThankU cards. One of the cards read, “Bhaiya aur Didi aap itni dur se aate ho humse milne hamare sath khelte ho isliye hum aapko thank you bolna chahte hain.” That was the dream outcome of our visit to that orphanage.
The life in an orphanage is one of constant change. Caregivers come and go, other adults come and go, and children come and go. The only thing that remains constant is the bond that they share with each other within their hearts. Gratitude makes the bond stronger between the kids, between the kids and the caretakers, donators, or the volunteers. Gratitude lightens up the place like none other.
The kids have this very natural tendency to share whatever the good is shared to them. The moment we shared them the ThankU cards, they instantly took it within themselves to share it among others. It shows these kids, if provided an opportunity to express their emotions and feelings, can be the best ambassadors for spreading happiness around the world. And that is the best thing, we as adults, should learn from them.