Written about a century ago, this poem indicates that stress and struggle existed even then, although those pale compared to the frenetic pace we now call life. It is dizzying, the way one day segues into another. Too much to do in 24 hours we say, wish the day could somehow expand to 28 or 30 hours. No chance. In no time a whole year would have passed and we would have nothing to show for it. Round and round and round we go, taking ourselves off on a mindless vortex.
Well, get off that carousal ‐ for a while, for a moment, for an hour or two.
And do what ?
What advice does one give to a bright, hot-shot millennial who seems to know it all ? Not much. You wouldn't take it anyway. You'd rather learn from your own mistakes. But this I submit to you:
Take care of your parents. You will miss them when they are gone. Spend more time with them, physically or on the phone, but not to give them your “gyaan”. Just listen. Picture yourself as a two-or five-year old, when they held your hand as you took your first baby steps; when they saw you through your measles and mumps, and the bashing you got from that bully in school. It's time to hold their hand now, my friend.
Share a cup of coffee with that grouchy colleague. And again, listen, as he gives you a peek into his life. You will be amazed.
Step into a quiet church, temple, synagogue or any place of worship. Even try a library or art gallery, away from the noise and bustle. You don't have to pray, or read or appreciate that painting. Just switch off your phone, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and ponder. In fact, don't even ponder. Keep your mind blank and go with the flow. Often, these are times when a great idea may hit you out of the blue. If not, at least the world will seem a bit brighter and you will walk away a lot calmer.
Stop to smell the roses, admire those trees. Enjoy life, respect nature, be kind to animals. They are smarter than you think. Compassion for animals leads to compassion for children, the elderly, women and humanity in general, even world peace maybe. I call it my Law of Moral Progression. Could be that Mahatma Gandhi had the same thought so when he is believed to have said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.
Do yourself a favor ‐ be considerate. As you climb the ladder of success, don't step on people's toes, because you will surely meet them again on your way down.
Nothing succeeds like success. Really? Here's a truth: Nothing succeeds like Integrity, fire in the belly, and the strong value system we learned as kids.
So, Think, Listen, Care. You'll be glad you did. “ A poor life this if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare”.