15th of August – Every year, this date makes us think of 1947. On this day, India got independence from the British rule and started to build a nation that will bring alive the dreams of millions. This day is a National festival in India and rightfully so. The significance of the day is etched in the memories of many generations of hard working and sincere men and women who had braved the years of tyranny and oppression.
It is easy to forget those sacrifices that those great people made for us in those critical times. It is noble to want to focus on today’s situation and yet repay the cost our ancestors bore to make us free and give us choices. But what we may want to remind ourselves is that the freedom of expression, which cost lives then, is now an asset and a constant companion to us all. Having benefited with such a grand legacy from the martyrdom of our forefathers, let us pause and ask ourselves- Are we really utilizing this gift? Are we communicating openly and positively to bring about well needed change that can contribute to us and our future? Are we conscientiously applying this privilege of free speech to augment our discussions with meaning and purpose to benefit our communities and further our goals? Is every day a stepping stone for us to share and spread our combined wisdom and reinforce our core values through our active participation in issues around us that matter?
A small step is all it takes to embark on a journey that tolls a million miles. By choosing one cause that is dear to our heart and pursuing it with a clearly thought out plan, each one of us will truly help our communities and our countries stride in pride and reach loftier goals. One burning topic addressed by even such a simple thing as a letter to the editor or to a congressman, can provide the joy of a task well done and the ripple effects can provide a force enough to quell a swirling tidal wave.
It is then that days like August 15 can become a cause for spontaneous celebration that will dwarf all our daily worries and help us elevate our thinking and action into a better tomorrow. It is only then we would have repaid the debt we owe to our ancestors. It is only then we will truly rejoice in the “Today”.