The rat race of life is getting a lot rattier and manic in our “modern” age. People run to and fro, heads down, looking at their iPhone, racing, running, dashing in a frenzy. Ask them what they did that day and most will respond “what didn’t I do!” The answer is, an awful lot.
The sad reality of today is that many probably did very little of value. Yes, that’s a harsh statement, but true. Today, we mistake chaos for productivity. We confuse banal activities with true accomplishments. The price that we pay is a loss of balance. That balance in life is an essential ingredient to happiness. How can we stop to smell the roses, when we’ve trampled over them in our mad dash to get someplace we probably don’t really want to be. How can we enjoy life, when so many among us trudge through it with a cell phone growing our out of our hand?
This simple story is powerful in its message. I hope you take away from this tale all that is has to offer in its meaning.
The Secret of Happiness
Once a young man wanted to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man on the earth. The lad wandered through the desert, mountains, and plains to find the wisest man in the land. He finally reached a beautiful castle high atop a mountain, where a very wise man was said to reside.
The young man had imagined the wise man to live like a sage with a modest and quiet lifestyle. But to his surprise, he was not at all like a sage. He saw lots of activities happening in the castle. Tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and finally he saw a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world.
The wise man conversed with everyone, and the young man had to wait for several hours to meet the wise man. The wise man listened attentively to the young man’s curiosity to know about the secret of happiness. The wise man replied that he didn’t have time to explain the secret of happiness at that moment. But, he suggested the young man have a look around his castle and at its beauty and uniqueness, and return in two hours. He also assigned a task to the man. He handed over a teaspoon to the man which had two drops of oil. The wise man said to the young lad “As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill.”
The Young man began climbing and descending the many stairways of the castle, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was. “Well?” asked the wise man, “Did you see the Persian embroideries that are hanging in my dining hall?”
“Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in the library?”
The boy was embarrassed and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man entrusted to him
“Then go back and observe the marvels of my world,” said the wise man.“You cannot trust a man if you know nothing about that man and his surroundings.”
Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the castlee, this time more conscious about the surroundings and observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he explained in detail everything he had seen. “But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?” asked the wise man.
Looking down the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone. “Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you,” said the wisest man.
“The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.”
What is the message here? You have all rights to enjoy the beauty and pleasures of the world, but you have to fulfill your duty as well. A Balance needs to be created between everything. You need to take care of your job, family and then society. Many people forget to enjoy the beauty of life and get lost in the rat race of the world. While some lose their sense of responsibility and waste their life without fulfilling their duties.
Balance is very important in life. Work, family, health, and enjoyment are equally important. Whatever you are doing, creating the balance in life is very important.
– Author unknown
The moral of this story is powerful — if we don’t stop to enjoy the truly important things in life, what kind of life are we leading?