This is a story about how true happiness can be achieved not through the accumulation of wealth and resources, but through giving and caring for other people. Ratan Tata realized that even the biggest projects and riches cannot give him the kind of happiness he experienced when he saw the joy and gratitude of the disabled children he helped. This story reminds us of the importance of caring for others and that true happiness can be found in the small but important things in life.
Indian multibillionaire Rattan Tata, a $291 billion multibillionaire, was asked in a telephone interview by a radio host:
“Sir, when were you happiest in your life?”
Ratan Tata replied:
“I went through four stages of happiness in my life and finally understood the meaning of true happiness.
The first step was the accumulation of wealth and resources. But at that point, I didn’t get the happiness I wanted.
Then came the second stage of the accumulation of values and objects. But I realized that the effect of this was also temporary, and the glitter of the jewels did not last long.
Then came the third phase of the big projects. I had 95% of the oil reserves in India and Africa. I also owned the largest steel mill in India and Asia. But even here I did not achieve the happiness I had imagined.
The fourth step came when a friend of mine asked me to buy wheelchairs for disabled children. About 200 children. On my friend’s recommendation, I bought the wheelchairs right away. But the friend insisted that I go with him and donate the strollers to the children. I got ready and went. There I gave these children wheelchairs with my own hands.
I saw a strange glow of happiness on the faces of these children. I saw them all sitting in their strollers, moving and playing. It was as if they had arrived at the picnic site, where they shared their winning prize. I felt so happy inside.
When I decided to leave, one of the kids grabbed my legs. I tried to slowly free my legs, but the kid looked me in the face and squeezed them even tighter. So I leaned over and asked the child:
“Do you need anything else?”
This child’s response not only shocked me, but it completely changed the way I looked at life. This baby said:
“I want to remember your face so that when I see you in Heaven, I can recognize you and thank you again!!!”