Life is full of contradictions. We hear or see different signals, we hear different thought processes and observe different ways of thinking. To succeed in life we need to dream and think about future. It gives us such a pleasure to know that our civilization was quite advanced in the past and we have a beautiful heritage. But there is another thought process which suggests that we should live in “NOW” to be really happy.
I remember the fable of Shaikh Mohamad and his dreams. He is a farmer who has some land and animals. One day his wife set a big earthen pot of Dahi or Yogurt. (As we know that in India we “set” Dahi at home, buying Yogurt from outside was not very common till recent times) Our Shaikh is taking his siesta and he dreams that with the Dahi he has, he will make butter milk and also some butter. If done properly he will grow his business and have many buffaloes and lots of Dahi, butter and butter milk. He will become rich doing these things; after he becomes rich, if he finds his lazy wife not doing work, he will kick her and make her work hard. In his sleep he kicks and hits the earthen pot in which there is Dahi!! With this his dreams are shattered along with the earthen pot! This fable tells us, not only to dream but to work on what you hope to do.
Instead of dreaming of future, had Shaikh produced butter milk and butter, in “NOW” time and had continued to do so, he probably would have achieved his dream. Thinking of olden days and future have their own pluses and minuses. But maybe there are more minuses. Today one can be unhappy because what had happened yesterday or guessing what may happen in future. In life nothing is certain except death. No other things are certain and things can change at the last moment for better or worse. But this does not happen with death. When the time has come it has come. Period!
Today one may be sad because he/she lost a wallet last week. A couple of days back while driving someone came and brushed the car and there was some damage to the car. Of course when such events occur we feel sad, at that instant. But if we keep on thinking of these events all the time, then your “NOW” is spoiled. You are sad because what happened in the past. Could we have prevented these two events from happening? I don’t think so. Can we change them now? No. Then why are we sad today? It is similar about future. Will I marry the most beautiful girl I know, down the lane? Will I become an airline pilot, which is my dream? It is great to dream and try to achieve it. But is there any point in brooding “NOW” for things that are likely or not likely to happen?
A persons feelings “NOW” are many times based on what “was” or what “will be”. A friend had an opportunity to go to Germany but missed it because of the boss! But why is he not happy “NOW” though he is enjoying holiday with his friends in Goa! ( Missed Germany opportunity?) I missed on meeting an old friend as our dates clashed so I am sad. Why? Why not just pick up a phone and chat with him “NOW” and be happy? I am sad as I lost six months in life because I was in bed due to illness. But why am I not happy “NOW” because I survived that major health issue? I have known of many people who don’t get their yearly medical check-up done because some health issue may be detected! Stop worrying about future! But why not get yourself checked “NOW”, be happy if nothing comes up, or take action if something comes up and then be happy!
The human nature of thinking about what happened in the past and what can happen in the future, comes in the way enjoying life. Forget the past and the future, we can enjoy “NOW”. Past is writing on the stone and we can’t change, future is like writing on the sand on the seashore. The writing goes away with every tide and the slate becomes blank. So is our future, we think and hope that so and so is going to happen- writing on the sand! Next day situation changes, it’s the tide that has come in, so you write again. When we know that this is going to happen then why worry about it!
Over a period, I am coming to a conclusion that all of us must try and start thinking like a child. Become a child is my mantra for happiness.
As William Wordsworth says in his poem Rainbow “A child is the father of the man!”. There are so many things that you can learn from kids. Instead of learning from kids we try and mold the kids to behave like adults! I am currently staying next to my daughter; her daughter is 2 ½. This baby just breezes in our home. Do I see her brooding any time? Does she look bored any time? Does she look worried any time? Never. The reason is very simple. She is happy with what she has, she is simply enjoying the current moment. She is enjoying ““NOW” all the time! Friends it is with us to be happy by being in “NOW” situation always!
Interpretation of the proverb “A child is the father of the man!” in the Poem Rainbow :
People’s personalities form when they are children; A person will have the same qualities as an adult that he or she had as a child. (From William Wordsworth’s poem, “My Heart Leaps Up.”) In Bill’s case, the child was father of the man; he never lost his childhood delight in observing nature.
The poem Rainbow
My heart leaps up when I behold
A Rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
By- William Wordsworth.