A story goes that once two school-going friends decided to play a prank. They caught hold of 3 goats and painted the numbers 1, 2 and 4 on their sides. That night they let the goats loose inside their school building.
The next morning, when the authorities entered the school, they saw the goat droppings on the stairs and near the entrance and realized that some goats had entered the building.
A search was immediately launched and soon the three goats were found. The authorities got worried since they couldn’t locate the goat No. 3. They searched and searched for the goat No. 3. There was panic in the entire school. The school declared a holiday for the students. The school staff spent the whole day looking for goat No. 3, which was not found since it did not exist!
We are all like the folks at the school - we may have our own goats but are obsessively looking for the missing elusive goat No. 3. Instead of making the most of what we have and focusing on our strengths, we worry about the missing piece - our shortcomings.
During the preparations leading to the 2011 World Cup, some of our cricket enthusiasts were worried that though India had a strong batting line-up and effective bowling attack, the fielding was quite weak which fact could dampen our chances at the World Cup. So what did our Captain and the think-tank do? They didn’t let that missing goat No. 3 worry them too much. They stayed focused on their strengths, batted well, bowled well and went on to lift the World Cup!
And who does not know of Bruce Lee, the American-born film actor who was renowned for his martial arts prowess and who helped popularize martial arts movies. Bruce Lee was near-sighted. His bad eye sight is one of the reasons he appreciated Wing Chun’s contact style of movement because he could rely more on touch than sight. His left leg was almost one inch shorter than the right. He converted that fact to work out the best stance for him – his right foot leading so he could kick above knee height.
Then we have Sparsh Shah, the young rapper from New Jersey who has Osteogenesis Imperfecta, also known as Brittle Bone Disorder. Sparsh Shah is a rapper, singer, songwriter and inspirational speaker from New Jersey, US. Sparsh is a case of broken body but unbreakable spirit who focused on what he was good at, not what he lacked.
Above examples and many more teach us to stop worrying about the non-existent goat No. 3 in each of us; instead let us focus on our strengths and make the most of what we have. Success arrives when we learn to make the most of what we have, not worry about what we don’t.
Even so, at Chinmayam, we the Children of God (COG), come with moderate abilities, also disabilities. Artwork, craftwork, painting, knitting, embroidery, cooking, baking, singing, dancing, effective communication etc. are some of the abilities seen amongst us on a modest scale. Would make sense if each of us work on our strengths, if each one of us strengthen our strengths, not waste time and energy brooding over the missing goat in each one of us.
The choice is well before us. Focus on our strengths, they will grow. Or keep brooding over our weaknesses and fears, unfortunately they will grow too!!!
Sidharrth Hariharan, Covai Chinmayam RC