A light thought..!
One day as he looked out through his window, he saw on the other side of the valley, another small cottage and Kipling became curious. “Lets go across and see who stays in that cottage,” Kipling told his wife, and together they climbed down their side of their mountain, walked across the valley and reached the small, tiny broken house. An old lady opened the door and peered at them.“Are you the people who stay across the valley in yonder house?” she asked, and Rudyard Kipling and his wife nodded in affirmation. “Come in,” she said “and make yourselves at home I have been waiting to meet you for a long time.”
Kipling and his wife were surprised to hear this and both listened intently as the old lady continued “It is wonderful to have you as my neighbours, though you stay miles away, yet you take away the loneliness from my life, for every night the light from your house shines across the valley to my little home, and I feel alone no more. But soon summer will be over and you two will go back to your city life. I will miss the light that shines across from your house. I will be lonely again.”There was a strange resoluteness in Kiplings eyes as he left the old lady and made the journey back home. He ordered his men to break down the walls of his house so that he could widen the windows.
He then changed the bulbs to more powerful ones and he saw to it that when he and his wife left for the city, someone would come and put on the light, so that it would shine, night after night after night into the old lady’s lonely home and lonely life. In a country like ours which has oftimes been called an ‘area of darkness,’ where can we throw our light? Is it some old, lonely person you know, who needs a little of your time? Your child who needs a hug? Or maybe your co-passengers in the train with a worried look who just needs a smile from you? What are the walls we have to break, what are the windows we need to widen so our light can shine across into someone else’s life?
Like I said at the beginning, quite often in a speech I use the example of Kipling, and later wonder, how many people felt the light next day, from someone who listened to my speech and didn’t fall asleep, while I talked..!