Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 61

Make me an instrument of Thy peace

Gandhinagar, Vellore, India

Correspondence Address:
Usha Jesudason
16/7th East Cross Road, Gandhinagar, Katpadi, Vellore - 632 006
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Jesudason U. Make me an instrument of Thy peace. Indian J Palliat Care 2004;10:61

How to cite this URL:
Jesudason U. Make me an instrument of Thy peace. Indian J Palliat Care [serial online] 2004 [cited 2021 Jan 20];10:61. Available from:

This year we have been seeing the sad faces of farmers in many parts of our country across our television screens. Men and women who are just skin and bones, sitting on their haunches, waiting to die. Poverty, lack of water and food, and lack of compassion and care on the part of local governments have ground out hope for them. They know that they cannot survive another year of this. In sad desperation, many have committed suicide. None of us reading this will ever know this kind of sadness.

A few weeks ago a poor, young student came to my door and asked if there were any odd jobs he could do for me. He said that his mother was sick and as she could no longer work, he had to find work to pay for medicines and food for them both. He had just passed his class eleven exams, but had discontinued school to do odd jobs during the day. He was a bright boy who wanted to become a social worker, but poverty had ground out all hope for him. He wasn't angry at the unfairness of life, just sad. His story and his sadness touched me deeply.

My meditative prayer that morning had the words," where there is sadness, let me bring joy." How on earth was I to bring joy to someone like this? I could easily have spared him a hundred rupees, but something deep within me told me that more was expected of me. I surprised myself by asking him, if I could find the resources for him to study, would he go back to school? " Yes," was the prompt reply.

While he was cleaning my brass vases, I made phone calls to friends who I thought might like to support a bright child like this through school. One of them agreed to pay for his fees. Then I called a doctor friend to see if she could give some of the medicines the mother needed. She was willing to give the free samples she had and agreed to look after his mother's other medical expenses. Now, all I needed was a little money to pay for their food and other expenses. Listening to me making all these calls, an English visitor staying with me gave me an envelope with a generous amount of money that was sufficient for a year's support.

The boy couldn't believe it when I told him the good news. His eyes lit up for a minute, then his face crumpled and he began to cry. The sadness had given way to joy.

Later that night, as I thought about the incident, I realised that often we are unable to help someone ourselves. But we have a network of connections which we can tap into to. If we think of ourselves as being instruments that bring peace and joy, we need to be aware of this network and endeavour to be channels that sometimes connect, that sometimes give.


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Online since 1st October '05
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