Aswini Subramaniam - Chicago, USA

 

The first time I attended the conference in 2007 and the moment I was introduced to the absolute standards, I felt these are very basic standards that anybody is taught at home, nothing new. But when I looked back I realized that many of us including me do not apply these standards in the absolute sense. Some of us totally ignore them; some of us apply the same in a diluted sense, according to our convenience. And we also learn to tolerate the lack of these standards in other people around us, even if we end up getting hurt because of that.

MRA has given me the insight and courage to set principles for myself and follow the same. I was right out of school when I joined, most of the time I was told what to do. I have the greatest family; parents who have taught me good things, siblings who adore me and we have never faced many downfalls other than our day to day challenges. I was in a protected environment where I didn’t face many situations of having to choose between right and wrong. I don’t want to think about what life would have been without MRA, but I know that the blessed life that I am leading has been beautifully coloured by this idea. It has been the cherry on top of my black forest cake.

As I grow I realize that no one is going to follow me telling me the right thing to do. The journey of life is an individual’s journey; fortunately I have had the freedom to decide how I want it to be. With some guidance from the ideas of MRA, and thanks to quiet time, I am leading a satisfied life. I work at a reputed organization in a professional setup. I am dedicated at work and lately I also fulfil my commitments at home. I help my parents and am involving myself in larger requirements of our household. I try to keep up with my friends and also invest in skills like dancing, art and driving. All these are normal things expected out of any person, but consistency and commitment to things that I would not normally do, is something I have learnt at MRA. I wouldn’t say I am applying the standards at all times as I would like it to be, but I am taking a dauntless effort towards it and I know that it is going to take a lifetime of that effort. I also try not to hate myself when I do something wrong, try to forgive myself and move on to make an effort to improve myself. There was a time in the organization I worked previously where I literally spent all my time at work. My whole family was very supportive; they took care of all my basic needs and didn’t expect anything in return. I never so much as shared a meal with them. Neither was I appreciated at work for all the efforts that I put in, rather I was blamed for lack of performance. That was a time when I hated myself for not being a good family member and also blamed myself for my performance at work. During my next conference, I realized that my decision to quit was the best move. Thanks to my education, I had the power to choose the kind of work life balance I wanted and now I am happy. I also know that this is not going to remain static and I now have the courage to face the changes in the future.

MRA and especially quiet time has given me hope to do things for myself and for others; things that help me evolve as a person. I spend some time with my family, trying to get to know them better and seal the bond even tighter. I think about the people who are less fortunate than me and try to extend a helping hand. Many of us are confused especially after school and college about the way we want to shape our lives. Some of us are succumbed to our parents’ desires, others go along with our friends, but I have been able to choose a path which I think is right, thanks to MRA. I also spend time with friends; try to be the strong shoulder to hang on to overcome their difficulties. I spend some time in social activities, which gives me immense pleasure.

Quiet time not only allows me to analyze what is right and wrong; it allows me to dwell on a thought which leads me to put it into action. And a series of actions shapes into my personality and I like the person I am growing into. At the same time I have learnt more about myself; I have been awed at my abilities and I have learnt to embrace and work upon my weaknesses. It takes a longer time to work upon my weaknesses and I haven’t seen satisfying results on most of them yet but quiet time generates such a positive energy that I have never lost hope of success. It only makes me think differently of trying to achieve my goal.

I feel like a class apart, and I know that I am recognized as such by the people around me, though not expressly. At the same time I don’t find it difficult to work in a team.

I have come a long way from being the introvert that I was when I started off here. MRA has helped me a lot and I am sure it will help many others around us. And when so many people share similar ideas, the synergies of shared efforts will be much higher than each individual’s efforts and the world will be a better place to live in.

Stories of Change