This story is an example of why we emphasize in our leadership training that courage is a non-negotiable for leaders.
This scene is set in Chinnakkalpet on the southeast coast of India on December 26th 2004. Unsuspecting fishermen were returning with their daily catch, their kids playing along the shore while their mothers got to their daily chores. Little did they realize that the sea was going to embrace them all, in one giant leap, in a short while.
At 8.30am the Tsunami struck with a vengeance.
Dinakaran was the oldest of three children; he was 7 years old. His parents felt that he had the greatest chance for survival independently so they gathered up their two younger children and ran to safety. But the wave was too high and too quick for Dinakaran. Before he knew it he was being dragged into the depths of the sea. He tried to grab at the shrubs and the trees as the water pulled him with great force. He was exhausted and he resigned to death when suddenly he felt a bite on his shorts which penetrated into his skin. He thought it was a tree stump but for some reason it stemmed his flow into the sea. When he looked down to his utter amazement he noticed that he was being dragged back to the shore. His guardian angel was his dog, Selvakumar.
“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.” – Sally Koch
Do we have the courage that Selva displayed? Do we handle situations with always the thought, “What is in it for me?” Can we display the selflessness that this animal showed in rescuing his friend?”
Selva teaches us to do what we shy away from doing most of the time – to help without expectations. While we race to compete and excel in our lives, it is important that we pause for a second and lend a helping hand to those in need. We would be living in a better world if only we could criticize less, ridicule less, mock less and help more.
“The hands that help are far better than the lips that pray.” – Robert Green Ingersol
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