It’s All in the Mind

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By A Staff Reporter

If there was one family in the entire locality that never got any visitors it was the Tabos. It wasn’t at all surprising why. The only thing that almost everyone in the Tabo family could talk about was their ill-health—and who wants to constantly listen to such things?
Chinti didn’t fit into the Tabo family one bit. Sometimes, he would wonder if he really was the son of his parents. He didn’t think like them, or like his siblings, at all. He found their obsession with ill-health depressing, and even frightening and morbid. It was like living in a hospital.
One day, Chinti decided that he had had about enough. His parents were down with flu and so were bed-ridden. That gave him the chance to run the house for a few days the way he wanted to. He took down all the pale, low-voltage bulbs in the house that gave it a haunted look, replacing them with bright lights with colourful shades. He put up gaily-patterned curtains in the windows, and insisted that the windows be kept open to let in the sun and fresh air. He set up a string of bamboo wind-chimes in the balcony that sang all day in the breeze. He had the grey walls of all the rooms pasted over with wall-paper in brilliant electric shades. He threw out all the medical books and tomes about sicknesses that lined the walls, replacing them with pictures of mountains and forests and birds. He installed a small music system in the hall. The house, where once the only sound you could hear was of people coughing and grunting and complaining about their various ailments, was now filled with soft, soothing music.
At first, Chinti’s parents were aghast at having their house transformed completely out of recognition. ‘It’s just too modern for us traditional people,’ they cribbed. ‘And what a waste of money!’ But, because they were bed-ridden, they couldn’t foil Chinti’s plans.
And, do you know what happened after that? Gradually, the house’s new cheery look began to have a miraculous impact on Chinti’s family. Your surroundings, as you probably know, powerfully shape the way you think and feel, and the bright colours, the soothing sounds, the ample sunshine and the positive images and pleasant artifacts that Chinti brought into the house made his parents and siblings feel happier, and healthier too! You won’t believe how delighted Chinti was that his plan was beginning to succeed!
There was another important thing that Chinti did to mend matters at home. He simply refused to listen to his family’s groans about their various sicknesses. These were almost always about minor ailments (more often than not, imaginary), which they magnified completely out of proportion. It struck Chintu that the reason why the only thing they could talk about was ill-health was simple—they had no other topic of conversation. Moreover, it won them the sympathy that they desperately craved for.
‘Now, let’s have a deal,’ said Chinti to his folks one day. ‘No voicing health complaints for just three days. You can talk about anything else—only positive things, please—but not a word about sickness.’
And, do you know what happened? Simply by not talking a word about ill-health, doctors and medicine in those three days, no one in the Tabo family felt ill at all! It was all very strange, said Chinti’s father after that, but Chinti explained, ‘Most of our illnesses are self-created, caused by our minds. You become what you think, and if you constantly think of sickness, you are bound to fall sick. The best way to remain healthy is not to think you are ill or fear that you will fall ill. If think you are healthy, and if you tell yourself that you are and must remain in good health, you can be sure you will never have to spend the rest of your life complaining about sickness, as you’ve done all these years.’
Chinti’s family took his sensible advice seriously. His parents and siblings tried to practice what he had told them with awareness, consciously refraining from giving in to the temptation to talk about sickness. It was difficult, at first, because it had become such a deeply ingrained habit, but slowly they learned. And, in just a few weeks, everyone who knew them began noticing an amazing transformation in the Tabo family. No longer did their neighbours want to have nothing to do with them or to flee at their sight for fear of being tortured by a long lecture on ill-health!

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