Story time

Today I spent the evening with a mother-daughter duo in my residential complex. I’d only briefly met the mother before, and she was intrigued by me and insisted I stay for tea and tell her daughter, who is about my age, ‘my story’.

I spoke for a long while, and the older woman probed and probed – she was especially curious about the ‘love angle’ of my recent past – while constantly apologizing for her blatant inquisitiveness. Eventually, instead of repeating, “It’s not a problem, my life is an open book,” I decided to illustrate my point.

“You know, aunty,” I said, “a few days ago, a newspaper published a column of mine but did not carry my photograph and the name of my magazine in my profile, as I expected them to. This didn’t bother me, because I now have faith that whatever happens is for the best. Instead, I immediately got thinking about what God wanted me to learn from this.

“And the symbolism cannot be ignored: My content was used but without its packaging. God is telling me, I am not important, my story is. I’ll give you another example. At today’s Buddhist meeting, all of us heard the amazing experience of a woman who’d been through terrible agony watching her disabled daughter in coma for five months and then suffering from cancer herself. And yet she ended her experience saying, ‘I will win, I will win, I will win.’ We may have already forgotten this woman’s name, but we will NEVER forget her story… By sharing her story, her pain and her courage, she has inspired many more lives. Her suffering has become purified and meaningful.

“So please go ahead and enjoy my story and ask me more about it. There’s no point in my being through these experiences if I haven’t touched a few lives by sharing them.” The lady shook my hand for a long moment after I said all that.

So I decided to come home and write it all down. I’m not important. My story is.


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