Guest Blog by Kevin John Delaney
This true story has the power to touch hearts and even lives. Maybe yours? ~Mitch
Dash loved his wife. When tragedy struck, he dedicated the next twenty-two years of his life to tearing down a mountain in her memory and to helping the people in his village.
Dashrath Manjhi (Dash) and his wife lived in a remote village, over thirty-four miles from the nearest town. To get to work or to gather water required traversing a treacherous and narrow mountain pass, something they had to do daily.
One day, Dash’s wife was bringing him lunch in the fields where he labored. As she climbed the mountain pass, she slipped and fell. With the nearest doctor over 30 miles away, she couldn’t get to medical care in time and she died.
Dash resolved to never let something like that happen again. With a hammer and chisel, he began a quest to cut a path through the mountain to make the nearest town more accessible. He worked the fields all day and chiseled away at the mountain at night. Dash said, “When I started hammering the hill, people called me a lunatic, but that only steeled my resolve.”
In memory of his wife, Dash chiseled away at the mountain for the next twenty-two years so that the people of his village could have access to medical care his wife didn’t have. With his hammer and chisel, he carved a path 360 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 25 feet high through the rocky mountain. His path shortened the distance to town from thirty-four miles to nine.
Twenty-five years after Dash completed his path, the government finally paved it and made his path a road. When he died, the government honored Dash with a state funeral and later issued a commemorative stamp to acknowledge his help to the people of his village.
When tragedy struck, Dash channeled his grief into a near-impossible task. He mourned the loss of his wife by ensuring others didn’t have to suffer the same fate she did. The very villagers he was trying to help ridiculed him, but Dash pressed on. He persevered for twenty-two years and accomplished his goal. He honored his wife, and he helped the people of his village.
That is the power of love and the power of perseverance. Imagine what you could do in your life if you allowed love to drive you and perseverance to prevail. What might you accomplish in the next twenty-two years? Maybe you should find out.
Kevin John Delaneyis an author, philanthropist, and coma survivor–revived via organ transplant. His blog site is dedicated to “explor(ing) the actions we can take today to ensure our tomorrows are better than our yesterdays,” a theme he also explores in his new book,A Life Worth Living.