My Favourite Lines – 4

I have loved these lines for as long as I can remember having heard them.

“Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.

 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The Drum Major Instinct”

Delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, February 4, 1968

I love these lines so much and they have left such a strong impact on me that I googled up the reference. I did not know in what context these had been shared.

Just look at the simplicity in the lines. It is only obvious, isn’t it? All these are facts we know. Somewhere along we do get caught up in practicalities and the unimaginable-to-execute idealism. But, if we set aside our pre-conceived notions of “service” and look at it as a random act of kindness that can be done every single day, it does look so achievable, right? Surely, you and I and everyone can do it. The  least we can do is probably offer a smile or carry a heavy bag for someone.

K and I were watching Satyamev Jayate. Frankly, I did not worship or feel awed at what Aamir was doing for the first few episodes. He was doing a good job – yes. But, I wasn’t like all under a trance and feel awed at the episode. Maybe I was aware of it or maybe I just wanted to wait and watch.

What amazed us (K and I) and what makes us look upto Aamir and his team was the kind of research they did. Am not referring to statistics. I am referring to the little details they unearthed; the little stories they shared; the little joys they created; the little ways they touched lives.  I am also referring to the way they “ended” the whole thing on such a beautifully positive note. I loved knowing about those unsung heroes. Hats off to the team for showing us what true grit is all about. We were particularly moved by the elderly gentleman who performs the last rites of fellow human beings irrespective of caste and creed. It is a very noble act. I cannot tell you how moved we were after that. He is not living to see any positive result. But the intention behind an act of such magnitude is commendable, to say the least. I marvel at the motivation in such heroes. They are so inspiring that their very presence even on TV sends out such strong positive vibes.

We also loved the way they found, they actually found someone befitting the expression that every little act makes a big difference – the man who actually made way and created a path where there once was a hill.

And that’s the very reason why I remembered these lines all over again.

Smile on. And stay beautiful. Make an inspiring and beautiful week, all of you 🙂


  1. lifesong · July 29, 2012

    How true those lines. And speaking of Satyamev Jayate, today’s episode was the one which made the most impact on me. The story that moved me the most was that of the old lady who was so poor that she had to send her son to the orphanage and yet dreamt all her life to build a hospital that served the poor free and she did see her dream coming true. We are much well off than her yet how much time do we spare for such noble causes… got me thinking for long.
    Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve… you only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love… so so true.

    • kismitoffeebar · July 29, 2012

      Lifesong 🙂 Feels like ages since I spoke to you !
      I loved the story you mentioned too 🙂 I really liked all of them !
      it is just so true, no?

  2. Destination Infinity · July 29, 2012

    The MLK quote is too good. And very true. I feel that people need to do at least a little (whatever possible by them) in order to benefit the society. When a large number of people start doing such good acts, without expecting anything back in return, society will benefit the most. And that includes everyone who did something.

    Destination Infinity

    • kismitoffeebar · July 29, 2012

      Thanks DI ! “When a large number of people start doing such good acts, without expecting anything back in return, society will benefit the most. And that includes everyone who did something.” – Exactly ! 🙂

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  4. KP · July 30, 2012

    What more can I add to your tribute to the serial and the team that did great research?.Apart from the heroes lending their personality and charisma,be it KBC or SJ, it is the hard work done by the team behind that makes the programme a success.I am digressing
    The lines of MLK is immortal and relevant for all times to come.As you have rightly said the random acts of kindness alone add lustre and meaning to our lives.

    • kismitoffeebar · July 30, 2012

      Thank you KP ! 🙂 You said it so beautifully – These random acts of kindness are what make our lives so.

  5. Jas · July 30, 2012

    Facts which we really forget. Beautiful lines that really help to introspect again whether you are on the right track or not. Can’t say enough about Satyamev Jayate. I know every time there have been many detractors but at least Aamir and team made an effort to made many of us realize that there are real people doing real ground work even if they are only few.

    • kismitoffeebar · July 30, 2012

      So true Jas – they are facts of life ! It is a pity we need constant reminders for aspects that are only obvious. Yes yes yes yes about Aamir and his team ! K and I have been gushing about it last night and was one of the first things we spoke of this morning. Because stories are .like that.

  6. The Girl Next Door · July 30, 2012

    LOVE those lines. They are so simple, yet so profound. Of late, I have been thinking what I would do if I am unable to do a good job at my job – I was thinking I would lose my purpose in life. These lines opened my eyes. Of course, even if I lose my job, I can still serve. I can do little things that will make a world of difference to the people around me.

    I watched a couple of episodes of Satyamev Jayate, and like you, I was not awed. I was thinking about the research the team has put in into creating the program too. I loved how they bring out both positive and negative aspects of a situation. I too loved the way they brought out the stories of unsung heroes of India. I strongly believe that till such people are there in our country, I refuse to accept that there is no hope for India.

    • kismitoffeebar · July 30, 2012

      Isn’t it TGND? Those simple lines that say so much ! Ya, I loved the last episode and I concur with your thoughts – there are so many beautiful people in India. And we will not let the dark characters overshadow the goodness always 🙂

  7. Visha · July 30, 2012

    I have never heard these lines of MLK…Thanks for sharing Toffee…they hold so true..

  8. The Girl Next Door · July 30, 2012

    On a totally unrelated note, I think you might like this blog:

    One – it is about the little things in life
    Two – as far as I read, it is about Singapore. 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · July 30, 2012

      Thanks much TGND. Checking right away, You sold it it to me with the title ! 🙂

  9. bigalittleamom · July 30, 2012

    “Smile on. And stay beautiful. Make an inspiring and beautiful week, all of you”/
    lovely lines to start a week with! Thank you!!

  10. techie2mom · July 30, 2012

    Beautiful lines, Toffe….
    About Satyamev Jayate- as we don’t have cable connection, i haven’t watched all the episodes regularly, but we watch it online. And i appreciate the way Aamir Khan raises voice against various problems plaguing our society. The first episode about female foeticide is something that impacted me big time, i got so worried about Zini and her future in such a society.

    • kismitoffeebar · July 30, 2012

      Ya, I agree and understand how you must have felt. But everytime you think of that first episode, I would suggest you to remind yourself of the last. The last one is beautiful. Pls pls watch it 🙂

  11. Nithvin · July 30, 2012

    Such inspiring words by MLK..Should thank you for sharing them here 🙂
    Haven’t watched Satyameva Jayate, may be I should sometime..

    • kismitoffeebar · July 30, 2012

      Hey my pleasure dearie 🙂
      Ya, I would urge you to watch it 🙂 And don’t forget to wind up with the last episode of the season !

  12. Privy Trifles · July 30, 2012

    Beautiful post toffee….loved it so much!

    You are so true in saying that education, caste, creed or wealth does not make any difference. It is what kind of a human being have you been separates you from the rest.

    Despite all that the media says of Aamir Khan I truly respect his decision of doing something like Satyamev Jayate and hats off to the entire team for the research behind it. Its true we all know what exists in our country but someone had to perhaps pick up the mirror and show us where we really stand.

    • kismitoffeebar · July 31, 2012

      🙂 Thanks Privy ! Your words are so so true 🙂 Can’t agree enough about the mirror part. That includes showing us the positives as well 🙂

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