My grandfather told me we should admire or respect someone not because they are related to us but for how they live their lives. In the same spirit, I am here to pay tribute to my grandfather not out of an obligation but out of admiration for how he lived his life. He boldly embraced every challenge life threw at him and never hesitated to enlighten others with his life lessons. But at the same time he also had the wisdom to understand that people are shaped by experiences which is why he was the most non-judgmental person I have ever known. I always felt comfortable talking to him because he could put himself in anyone’s shoes.
He served the country proudly in WW and one can imagine the experiences he might have been through but he was always humble about it. He would say that we don’t need rewards to understand our obligations and nothing comes before the country. We protect country not for ourselves but for our children as well. But if we truly desire the title of ‘heroes’ for our services then nothing is more pathetic than that. He could stop us from calling him a ‘hero’ verbally but fortunately, he could not stop our minds from considering him a hero. He was a hero because he was selfless, compassionate, humble, and a source of comfort to more people than he could ever imagine.
I realized what he meant by being respected for the way one lives his lives when I observed the respect he enjoyed in the community as well in addition to the family. He knew the foundations of the community are built upon the realization that we need others to survive and grow in life. He had seen more in life than most of the people he knew yet I never saw him even once showing any arrogance. Instead, he always said that he knows so little because times have changed a lot and would always be excited to know about the latest trends.
He would often say that this world is not perfect so it’s up to us to make it as perfect as possible. And one way to do that is to be grateful for your good fortune that we have born in a great country, have always been surrounded by a great family, and have enjoyed a loving and supporting atmosphere while growing up. But not everyone is blessed with the same good fortune as us so it is our responsibility to help those less fortunate so that life also becomes more beautiful for them. He believed in people more than anything else. He believed that countries, communities, and lands mean nothing before the people. It’s always the people that make a country great and build a thriving community and when people stop caring about each other, it’s often the start of a civilization’s decline.
People seek role models in life and I never have to look beyond my grandfather. He was genuine and he enjoyed genuine love from his family and the community. One of the signs of truly great people is that they do not seek acknowledgment yet people cannot help but being touched with the authenticity of such people. My grandfather believed that even changing one person in a positive manner justifies one’s existence in the world and I wonder if he had any idea how many lives he has changed for the better. I am a better person because of my grandfather and I am surely not the only one.