Here’s where the inspiration for this blog came from: I was reading the “North County Times”, a newspaper placed by our door when visiting our timeshare. In a section called THE BACK PAGE you find small articles, the likes of which I seldom see in the LA Times, or in the NY Times.
An article that caught my attention was about a man from India celebrating his 100th birthday. This man was a former Mr. Universe, despite being only 4 feet 11 inches tall.
Enjoying reading about achievements in the face of poverty and other hurdles, I was quite inspired to read that most of his serious training occurred while he was in prison.
Scanning the newspaper further, I saw this headline at the bottom of the page: “Former fire captain convicted of drunken driving made alcohol in jail”. I was stupefied.
Two convicts. Two jailed inmates. One growing up in grinding conditions and still managing to use his time to follow his aspirations. The other – a fire captain, who obviously had to go through grueling training and tests, who used his time in jail quite creatively, using ingenuity to supply himself with the substance that put him in prison in the first place.
Isn’t it amazing how different we people can be?
In a place where spirits often get crushed, and probably so much more so in India 75 years ago; one manages to reach the height of his ambition, and the other, a week ago, managed to achieve the height of his addiction.
The human spirit is so surprising and shocking at the same time.
Most of us do whatever it takes to give our children all they need and want – a loving home, food, school, private tutors, dance and ballet lessons, and yet some may end up rebellious, quitting school or college, and seem to lack ambition. Others, may come from a disadvantaged and tough childhood; poor and without a lot of encouragement. And, yet they posses a spirit of desire, passion and persistance.
In all the years of working with people, I’ve not yet managed to understand how one acquires the character trait of dogged and relentless pursuit of a goal, while others are overcome by their fear and despair.
Manohar Aich is celebrating his 100 birthday with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Kolkata, India.
Captain John Hines of Long Beach was sentenced to four years in prison for violating his probation by making alcohol in jail.
Each used their time in jail to gain something they love.
Even in jail, we can achieve our goals, follow our dreams and have our spirits soar.
Just like in the case of the dimiunitive Mr. Universe, sometimes even our jailers are astonished by our devotion to our goal, so much so that they are swept up by the dream as well.