Be the Cause

Choices… Choices…

Tick…tock.. tick…tock…. It’s 7pm! The night before the Walk for Hope. I’m still at work in a battle against time, trying to beat time before the night ends.

It’s Friday night, so there’s a lot happening outside my work. The bars are full, restaurants have long waits, movies are playing, friends are going out and the parties are starting. While most of the people I know are engaged in usual Friday night unwinding ways, there is a very small group of volunteers working so hard to make sure the Walk for Hope goes well in the morning.

I’m left with this choice to pick only one thing to do after work. That means I have to sacrifice the rest. I have to make the right choice since I will never get this night back. What if I make the wrong choice? What if I sacrifice the wrong things? This choice has to benefit what I believe in, which is being part of spreading more love to others. That’s what brings me the lasting joy even after the night is over. Every single day I’ve been given this opportunity to choose.

So I’ve chosen to listen to myself and decide to be true to my feelings. My big plan is to sleep. I want to give my best energy to help set up the park at 4:30am in next morning. I want to be a part of making people happy hoping they’ll do the same to the people they come across. After running few unexpected errands for the walk, I managed to get 4 hours of sleep.

Waking up 3:30am is not hard at all. I realize that the hard part is over, which was choosing the path. Everything else I am about to do today is easy. I realize that I’ve chosen to be a part of making people happy and expect nothing in return. I am inspired by so many people to wake up 3:30 in the morning, my roommate, Luz, who have chosen to wake up with me today, knowing my dear friends: Kristeen & Biba are doing the same, Maushmi flying in from Houston, David flying in from Kansas, Charity focus friends driving down from Northern California, all the volunteers that set the alarm to be at the park, all the walkers who cleared their calendars to give us this opportunity to serve and there were so many. These are all added bonus for the journey I am taking.

Meeting everyone at 4:30am is amazing. The morning is cool, peaceful and the volunteers have the perfect energy that I need to rub off of. I helped set up parking and few other things in the early morning. Karuna has me driving around the park rest of the time taking care of all the crossing guards and activity stations till the walk was over. I couldn’t ask for anything better to do. It is such a perfect day outside. We have the total support from Mother Nature. I feel incredible. Even though I don’t get to see how the walkers were enjoying our gift, my heart is happy knowing that I’m spending this energy being part of a beautiful concept of spreading love. I am driving and thinking how thankful I am to every single volunteer & every single walker. Without them, I would never be able to feel what I’m feeling at this moment. I would never feel this by writing a check or hearing about it. It’s not a feeling that I can imagine without being involved in the process.

Seva Café at night is the most busiest I’ve ever seen. It’s unbelievable for me to see Maushmi, Raju, Sudi, Sukh & few others who were at the park at 4:30am also serving at Seva Café the same night. It’s clear that their bodies have passed the exhaustion level long ago by this time; it must be the power of their spirit that sends signals to the brain to keep going.

I try everyday to be that person I look up to. I try everyday to be the change I wish to see in others. I’m so fortunate to be given this opportunity today. There are so many directions I could have taken my life in. I’m so fortunate to witness so many beautiful souls in the path I’ve chosen to travel on this day. It’s too much for me to keep looking at life as a big picture; I just take each moment as it comes to me to make the right choice. Time is the most precious thing in my life. If there was no tomorrow for me, I want to be happy about the things I’ve done today.


  • Biba

    Such beautiful words and thoughts! Thank you for being who you are. Because of your existance we receive love, warmth, compassion and peace.

  • Sukh

    Wow Manuri. This is really inspiring. It is true, it is all about choices. In each moment there is a choice. Are we moving our lives in the right direction, we get to choose. Thanks for the inspiration, it motivates me to make the right choices too.

    I’m glad you got 4 hours of sleep. :)

  • Srikanth

    Manuri, a very inspiring piece from an amazing person. I can’t think of a better way to serve in this world than with people like you, who give so much to others and care so much for the well-being of others. You are the epitome of “living is giving”.

  • gianna

    “If there was no tomorrow for me, I want to be happy about the things I’ve done today.”

    This is the answer to life really…thanx so much for reminding us.


  • lalita

    nice. ;) glad i got to meet you and the other wonderful volunteers down south! here’s to next year’s walk for hope. *

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