Fast Forward

A boy once found a ball of thread on the floor, picked it up and promptly forgot about it. 

Only after a few days that he accidentally tore his pants, he remembered the ball of thread and wanted to use it to sew his pants. Upon pulling a bit of the thread, he realised that the thread did not come out, but instead, time skipped forward for an hour and his pants were magically sewn. Curiously, he pulled the thread a bit more and realised it was time for bed. He went to bed puzzled, determined to unravel the mystery of the ball of thread. 

The next day in school, he forgot to bring his homework and was being scolded by his Math teacher. While listening, he fumbled in his pocket, found the ball of thread, gave it a little pull, and lo and behold, the scolding was over and he jumped forward an hour in time. With this knowledge of what the ball of thread does, he continued to use it whenever there were difficult times. 

The boy used it when he got into trouble with his parents, he used it when he got into a fight with his first girlfriend. He used it in order to fast forward over the tough times for studying, he even used it to skip through the pains of finding a suitable career. Even as he got married, he used the thread to not deal with quarrels with his wife, and used it when his children were bothering him. 

Soon, he grew into an old man, and he knew his dying day was near. He gave a little pull, hoping to hasten the process, but alas, the thread did not work any longer. The man pondered about his life, and realised it was meaningless – because meaning came from the toughest of times, and that would have moulded him and crafted him into a man, full of hard knocks, but with the ability to deal with the toughest of situations. 

He realised, finally, that the ball of thread robbed him of life’s fullest meaning, simply because he did not want to deal with problems when they came along. 

Greatest Joys, Greatest Sorrows

Often times we are told, that the greatest joy or greatest sorrow is derived from money, sex or fame. I beg to differ.

Our greatest joys and greatest sorrows come from relationships – with our family, friends and acquaintances.

How many times have we experienced sadness that comes from a family quarrel, a relationship breakup, a cold war with our friends?

Or how many times have we experienced joy from simply spending time with our loved ones?

Perhaps that allows us to put things into perspective and set our priorities right.

I Am Nothing

Dust we come, dust we go to, who are we to pride ourselves over another human being?

How many times have we used our titles, positions, occupations, studies, to lord over another person, saying that I am greater than he?

Perhaps the ones in society that seem to be the least of us – the cleaners, the beggars, the guards, are actually the highest among us. Being able to give up status, wanting to fend for oneself, having a fighting spirit are things that many of us may not have when the toughest of times come, but those who are the least among us, may very well be the greatest.

A Legacy

Starting with the end in mind, thinking about our last breath, is perhaps the best way to think through life.

What do we want our eulogy to be? What do we want to be written on our tombstone?

Would we want – a great moneymaker, who earned millions but hoarded everything? Or a wonderful father, he who gave his life for his children, to see the family unite together? Or would we want a one-liner eulogy, a blank tombstone, one who cared only about himself and hence others had nothing to say or write about him?

What do we want in our lives?

Numbed Emotions

With the barrage of information from the media, from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, have we lost our ability to feel?

When we see on the news about the latest airplane crashes or school shootings, do we merely read it emotionlessly, or feel a pang of sadness, or a call to action for us to contribute to lessening such disasters?

Are we unable to feel raw emotions of sadness, happiness, anger, frustrations, joy that make us human anymore?

The Joy Of Failing

Life should not be all about successes, but it should be interspersed with failures.

What is a successful life, if one has not tasted failure to have a comparison?

How can a successful person, that have always succeeded ever be able to handle failure, when one day, he meets it face-to-face?

Failure is hard, hurtful and disappointing, but by embracing failure and learning from it, can we experience the sweet taste of success in the future.

The Search For Perfection

Most of us want perfection, be it in our studies, in our careers or even in our relationships.

We seek for that perfect score – all As, 1600 for our SATs, a financially-worthy career with work-life balance, an amazing spouse with obedient children.

But often times, perfection is out of our reach, or even impossible, when we realise there needs to be room for failure, times that we do not succeed.

And other times, that we need to look within, and question ourselves, how perfect are we, to demand for perfection in others?

Hate Somebody?

In a technological age, it is easy to be a keyboard warrior, blasting colourful language at the people we dislike.

But in psychology, people are often seen to be blank slates, that before we meet anyone, they have done no wrong to us, nor irritated us.

And when we meet people, sometimes we have dislike at first sight or start to get bothered by other’s antics and the likes.

The first thing we have to examine is ourselves, if we feel that we are inadequate and hence project those feelings onto others.

The Goal

Lewis Caroll remarkably said in Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where,” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

What are our goals in life?

For our studies, our work, our relationships, our future?

If we do not have goals in these, then it does not matter where we end up with.

The Bucket List

The revival of the bucket list culminated in even a movie premiered on December 2007. Teenagers think about it, professionals think about it, even the elderly contemplate on a list of what they want to accomplish before they pass on from this earth.

While a bucket list is useful, we should carefully examine what is on there.

Does that once-in-a-lifetime experience add meaning to our lives?

Does that fun-filled experience contribute to the things we will think about in our last breath?

Does that charitable act of service continue to reside in the hearts and minds of others after we pass on?

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