Once upon a time, there was a boy named Noddy. His face always kept nodding in approval of everything he faced or did. A very shy and introvert boy, ever since his birth, his parents knew that he was the most innocent and “weakest” babies of all their kids. While Noddy always kept his company to himself, his brothers and sisters chirped around happily in the streets. As a child, he was bullied around, beaten up and was treated like a trash. He never said “no” to anything, even if it was wrong.
Noddy’s parents sensed on cue that they had an unsaid “extra responsibility” to protect Noddy because they knew that he would never ever in his life learn to say “no,” even if it was wrong!
One day, Noddy was sitting alone in his bedroom, looking outside the window. His cold eyes searched for something in the dark sky. He kept looking at the sky for hours like that, thinking something, wondering over something, yet nothing! At the end of it all, there was no conclusion, as usual and looking outside his window everyday, Noddy would enter into a different world, a world of dreams. Everyday when Noddy slipped into deep stupor, his mom and dad would enter into his room, help him sleep well and slipped the cozy blanket onto him. But when Mom and Dad looked at Noddy, their only concern was, “when will he learn to say no?” They knew that they wouldn’t be able to protect Noddy always and that there had to be a time when he stood up for his own rights.
Like always, one night Noddy slept looking out of the window to the deep dark sky. The world of dreams embraced him. Dreams are weird, yet deep inside, they are very much realistic. We need to realize that dreams are harbinger of a message. Noddy’s dream too was a harbinger of a change in his life.
In his dream, he saw a man wearing long white robe. The man had long white beard too. He was an angel. The Angel patted little Noddy on his head. Angel’s touch was so pure, so loving, that it brought tears of helplessness and happiness into Noddy’s eyes. Seeing him cry, the Angel embraced Noddy in his arms. Noddy sobbed even harder now. Angel kept him clutched in his arms, silently. When Noddy’s sobs became hard to listen, Angel knew it was right time to talk to him.
With Noddy’s little head resting on Angel’s chest and his complete attention on Angel’s words, he said, “Son, when everything appalling is happening to you in life and you feel helpless, you wonder where God is. But remember that God is always silent during your exams. It is good to be good, but a ‘goodie-goodie’ person is not always the best one. If you remain ‘all-good’ throughout your life, you wouldn’t be recognised ever. Remember, you need to do a little bad, to be recognised for your good.”
“And Son, most of all, saying ‘yes’ always will never help you. You need to learn how to say ‘no.’” Angel silenced for a few seconds as his words registered in the little heart of Noddy. Angel knew that Noddy was understanding his words and so, he continued, “I know, Son, you are sick of listening the same discourse over and over. Everyone tells you to say no to things. I know, you never said ‘yes’ either. But Son, silence is often mistaken to be a synonym of yes. You know what; people have a wonderful habit of moulding your silence to their benefit. So when someone hits you hard, hurts you to the core and you still don’t say anything, it is taken, by default, that you are accepting bullying and that you are not capable of stopping it.”
“My Dear Son, do right, say yes, but only when it is the only right thing to do. The magic key to live your life with integrity is respecting others, but most of all, respecting yourself. And that self-respect is achieved with the ability to say no to wrong. If you are not learning to say no to wrong right now, you will grow up one day, only to look back and feel that all the wrong decisions you took in life were a result of saying yes, when you should have said no.”
With his last few words, Angel kissed Noddy’s cheek and bid him adieu. Everything disappeared and Noddy found himself alone, once again.
For the first time in his life, Noddy woke up with a feeble, yet satisfying smile on his face for he had now understood the whole-sole “mantra” of his life. The Angel had sprinkled the magic dust on him, which was set to change the whole course of his life.
Noddy, went down to greet his parents, for the first time in his life. Astonished with a strange, yet pleasant behaviour of their son, the parents felt a great sense of satisfaction at their heart, on seeing their son. Mom and Dad kissed Noddy a very good morning.
After sometime, Noddy wanted to play outside and as his mother stood up to accompany him (to fulfill the responsibility of protecting him), Noddy held her hand and put her to a halt. “Mother, yesterday was the last day you accompanied me anywhere. Now on, I am free, for now I have learnt that I will never take anything wrong, for the sake of my integrity, my self-respect, which is the biggest devotion of all.”
Flabbergasted, Noddy’s mother looked at him with eyes full of tears, but this time, they were the tears of happiness!