What Finally Matters

Posted by M ws On Thursday, January 19, 2012 5 comments
I will never forget what my old headmaster told taught me. Normally when you are only 15 years of age you do not remember most of the things that are preached by your teachers. But, this particular story is one such lesson that I will never forget. Every time I drift off course, I get reminded of this story.

It was a normal Monday morning at an assembly, and he was addressing the students on important things in life and about committing ourselves to what is important to us. This is how the story went:

An old man lived in a certain part of Mumbai, and he would wake up every morning and go to the subway. He would get the train right to Navi Mumbai, and then sit at the street corner and beg. He would do this every single day of his life. He sat at the same street corner and begged for almost 20 years.

His house was filthy, and a stench came out of the house and it smelled horribly. The neighbors could not stand the smell anymore, so they summoned the police officers to clear the place. The officers knocked down the door and cleaned the house. There were small bags of money all over the house that he had collected over the years.

The police counted the money, and they soon realized that the old man was a millionaire. They waited outside his house in anticipation to share the good news with him. When he arrived home that evening, he was met by one the officers who told him that there was no need for him to beg any more as he was a rich man now, a millionaire.

He said nothing at all; he went into his house and locked the door. The next morning he woke up as usual, went to the subway, got into the train, and sat at the street corner and continued to beg.

Obviously, this old man had no great plans, dreams or anything significant for his life. We learn nothing from this story other than staying focused on the things we enjoy doing, commitment.

We should remain true to our course; which may mean committing yourselves to things that people around you would normally disapprove. Let nothing distract us from being happy, let nothing else determine our fate, but ourselves.

What makes us happy is what matters in the end, not what we acquire.

-Author Unknown-

My Personal Reaction

While it is a good story, I believe it also tells us the folly of being blind to one's own accomplishments. Sometimes, one may have already reached the goal but plod on because the whole life has been centred on achieving the goal.

At the same time, it also reminds me that we should not lay up treasures on earth that moth and dust can corrupt. We should take time to enjoy the fruit of our labour and not let work or other pursuits rob us of happiness. Moderation should be the key. Take time to smell the roses.....

Do leave a comment to share your views.

Have a lovely day.

5 comments to What Finally Matters

  1. says:

    walla It's what we do with our lives.

    In the story above, the beggar only thought of himself until it consumed him when he was already free from the plight that had started him on the subway to begging.

    If he had been rational, he would have realized that having achieved financial freedom from needing to beg, any additional donation to him would have been donation not given to others like him.

    It would then be him indirectly taking what should have gone to others not as fortunate as him to have received as much.

    He didn't do for the lives of others what he would have wanted others to do for his.

    Having said that, it's also not that easy to do good. We all don't have an endless source of means to go about making donations or performing charity.

    That itself may be a blessing for some may take advantage of generosity to fake like the beggar in that story.

    So that in a nutshell, what we take as the need to accomplish according to objectives we set for ourselves has to be squared against the dynamics of the needs of others.

    But then again some may say this would smack of socialism.

    Which on the other hand makes one wonder why that would be considered such a bad idea in a certain country run by people who don't engage their minds and hearts enough (* and sucks tooth *)

    Chatty today, aren't we? ;P

  1. says:

    Anonymous Walla

    Interesting comments indeed.

    However, my experience tells me that man who has a lofty goal will strive to achieve it. Some will do it at any expense.

    But once achieved, many will lose hope as there appears nothing else to chase in life, just as this story. Some will go for higher aims, chasing new rainbows in life.

    The reality is man cannot be satisfied by things of this world regardless how lofty those goals are.

    Yes, for where your heart is, there your treasure be also. And the world can never be the final destination!

  1. says:

    walla proud2bmalaysian,

    beautifully said.

    People, i say sorry in advance if i forget to respond to your thoughtful additions.

    MWS, allow me to say i sense you're all kind.

    Which, to me, is above all.

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear Walla

    My grateful thanks to you for your subliminally heartwarming and witty responses! Indeed your deep thoughts and candid comments have certainly enriched and increased the value of this post and my blog! I am eternally indebted to you!!!

    Take care and may God bless you and yours always!


  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear Proud2bMalaysian

    Thank you for such a wise and realistic comment! I always tell my students that if they aim for the sky, there is no limit and if they aim for the coconut, that is all they will get. I guess at the end of the day, even though we may be propelled by dreams and ambition, we should learn to be contented in whatever state we are in lest we strive our lives away in pursuit of the elusive dream. Take care and God bless you and yours during this lunar new year! Do stay in touch!

    Best wishe

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