It is not very often we gain crucial knowledge about the mundane from some deep thinkers. Things we take for granted, more often than not, bring us to such crossroads that bind us to take a closer look and find the hidden meaning. One such example lies in the following quotation I read a while ago: “A long life may not be good enough, but a good life sure is.” -Unknown
We all know how our capacity to take risks keeps on decreasing as we age. In other words, we get more easily scared when called upon to take a chance where the odds do not favor us. The wise equate this situation to our increasing love for life, almost to the extent of infatuation. We hold on to dear life at all costs. Yes, there are exceptions, just like they are in other situations. For all practical purposes, such exceptions are rare and far in-between.
Bill Watterson, the author of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, has compared life to
“A box of new crayons! Now they’re all pointy, lined up in order, bright and perfect. Soon they’ll be a bunch of ground down, rounded, indistinguishable stumps, missing their wrappers and smudged with other colors. Sometimes life seems unbearably tragic.”
We need to understand and appreciate the underlying wisdom that relates to our own life. We can save it from such a situation by paying attention before it is too late. The question you have every right to ask is ‘how’ do we do that. Please allow me to mention yet another quote:
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”
One of the foremost contributors to ground down, rounded, indistinguishable stumps of life happens to be the constant influx of worries that we tend to harbor with or without reason. We inadvertently invite numerous complications, both physical as well as financial, by letting these worries spoil almost every facet of our life. However, we have a sound piece of advice from none other than Leo Buscaglia, also known as Dr. Love. The author tells us:
“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”
“A well-ordered life is like climbing a tower; the view halfway up is better than the view from the base, and it steadily becomes finer as the horizon expands.”
~William Lyon Phelps, an American author, critic, and scholar.
“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”
Given these statements, we can identify some valuable pointers to finding the meaning of our life. Concerted efforts at staying the course, practically all outstanding visionaries, high achievers, history-makers, created history for generations to follow. On the other hand, some of the most hated, devilish characters caused irreparable damage to the very fabric of humanity. No doubt, we are unable to go back in time and reverse the damage already done. At the same time, let us not forget we are fully competent to take control of the situation and to forge ahead full-steam in the right direction.
“It is the set of the sail that decides the goal, and not the storm of life.”
This timely advice comes from none other than Ella Wheeler Wilcox, American author and poet, well-known for her statement “Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone.” You would be absolutely within your rights to ask how to set the sail of life in the right direction. The answer comes from Sasha Azevedo, a young American actress:
“A change in attitude can change your life!”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian novelist, says:
“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”
I take this advice as an invocation to our own intellect where we adjust our life’s rudder after taking a cue from the lessons we learn therefrom. Naturally, we cannot do it just once and relax in perpetuity. Necessary adjustments from time to time help us maintain course. This is where ‘Gabo’s understanding comes to our rescue in an abundant fashion:
“…human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but…life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”
I could go on and on, giving valid arguments in favor of my theory of life, backed up by hundreds of relevant quotes. Instead, I would like to sum up with a vital statement from none other than B.C. Forbes, the late Founder of Forbes magazine:
“A shady business never yields a sunny life.”
Govern yourself accordingly…