Who amongst us is oblivious to the maxim ‘Union is Strength’? From the early stages of childhood, our parents used to holler this every time we siblings would be ready to pull each other’s hair out. Taken from the tales of Panchatantra, this is one proverb which is used frequently and with much relevance since time immemorial.
Stories on this maxim abound in our rich treasure house of literature. But the one story which I am today going to narrate is related to a real life-lesson we experienced on a first hand basis in our residential complex.
We live in an apartment complex in which there are about 6-8 children of my son’s age. The environment is lively, dynamic and there is a lot of free play and interaction amongst the members rendering the stay immensely exciting. Every evening once the studies are done, these children would rush off downstairs to indulge in free play and some king of activities or the other to keep themselves engaged and to break the monotony. The adults would also join them for a free for all chat session with some brisk walking to boost. By the time everyone would retire for their dinner and sleep, they would be well-exercised and refreshed to tackle another day.
However, lately these children had been complaining about each other much too frequently on some childish matters. I, for one asked my son to deal with it himself but there were a couple of parents who took offence and decided to keep their children away from such inter-mingling, in the days to come. One by one, the number of children started dwindling and it was not many days later that I found my son , sitting all alone in the swing , with no one to play with while I completed my evening rounds. Much as I tried to involve him in cycling or some other lone sport or in which he and I could have some fun, he would come alive but the feeling was transient and soon enough he too tried to looked for excuses to remain at home in the evening and not tread downstairs.
The situation was grim and hopeless and much as I tried to talk to other guardians, some excuse or the other in form of assignments, increased workload at school, activity classes or tests would be the constant refrain. I, on my part kept dragging my son, much to his chagrin for either cycling or badminton, anything to run and sprint around in the free air.
However, everything changed with the one bout of viral fever. There was some sort of virus in the air and one after other the children started falling ill. The resident Doctor was called and the first thing he prescribed is to let them have fresh air and plenty of physical exercise. They seem withdrawn and morose and dejected and that is why their immunity is at an all-time low. They needed to loosen up more and laugh and play.
Now, the parents realized that no matter how many grouses the children might have against each other, they are at their happiest, when they are together, playing and frolicking around and since that day, the chirping, and the giggling noises can be heard once again and the complex has come to life. Their strength, physical, emotional and psychological lay in their unity and their togetherness.