A couple of days ago I was listening to a business tape. The speaker narrated this story. It touched me.
Two brothers, one 12 years old and the other 7, were ice-skating on a frozen lake. The duo were having the time of their lives. Chasing, slipping and sliding, and hurling handful of snowballs at each other. Then all of a sudden, a small area of the ice cracked in, forming a wide gap. The elder brother slithered through the split in the frozen surface, and plunged into the ice-cold water beneath. He was drowning.
The younger brother was appalled. He had no idea of what to do. For a few seconds, his brains went numb with shock. He looked hither and thither in search of someone who could possibly pull out his brother to safety. But there was none around.
Time was pacing. The elder brother was battling against the spine-breaking cold of the icy waters. He had no option but to call out to his little brother for help.
The little kid realized the futility of waiting for help to come. He skated till the edge of the lake, ran over the ice and towards a tree. He struggled, climbed the tree, reached out to a branch and broke it. He picked up the broken branch and rushed back to his brother. And with its help, managed to tug his brother onto the surface.
The elder brother was all wet and gasped for breaths. His teeth chattered with the iciness. Within no time, the townsfolk arrived just to check what the commotion was all about. They saw the two brothers. Enquired what had happened. When the kids narrated the incident, the people themselves were amazed.
One of them asked the younger boy, ‘You are so small. How could you manage to pull out your elder brother?’
The boy didn’t know what to say. He just blinked. He himself had no idea about it.
The entire group chattered in wonder. Right then, a wise old man sliced through to the front. He placed both his heavy arms on the younger brother’s tender shoulders. Looked straight into his eyes. And smiled.
‘You know why you were able to rescue your brother?’ He asked.
The young kid stayed silent. Blinked his eyes once.
‘Because’, the old man paused, ‘when you were climbing the tree, there was nobody around to tell you that you can’t do it.’
Sometimes it is good to be deaf. Deaf to the negativity of the outside world. Deaf to the discouragement offered by losers. And deaf to the very idea that what you are doing is impossible to complete.