When we were younger, time seemed to move slower — so leisurely lingering that sometimes it felt like it wasn’t even moving. That we couldn’t wait for our summer breaks or weekends to crawl up so we could holiday and play all along.
Those days, everything seemed permanent. Like school would forever go on and we would be excitingly terrified of exams every semester. Like college days would last and the friends we made through high school and university would always remain. Those days it felt like even the precious passing moments were never fleeting.
That, from our own little closets, we viewed life differently, although with passion, zeal, hope and dreams. With anticipation for a good future. For a life that’s made of a decent job, home and comfort. Then, we thought we knew life. That we would have plenty of time to spare for all the people we have come to know, and mostly for those we love. Didn’t we also think we would never, ever lose them?
Many of us would perhaps recall our younger, teenage days as the best days of our lives. Mostly because they were devoid of pain and we were considerably truer to ourselves in many ways. Except that we didn’t realize, time is the only constant thing that keeps ticking and moving whether we laugh or cry, smile or frown, help or hinder, contribute or destroy, share or take away, curse or bless somebody’s life.
One day you wake up and realise that nothing lasts forever. That sometime or the other, you are bound to lose something or somebody in life. And the older you grow, you start to battle a busy life. It only gets busier and busier that you begin to wonder where did all the time you thought you would have, disappear.
Too little time and too many things to do — too many people to visit, too many thoughts to share, too many plans to accomplish, too many places to see, too many families to bond with… just too many things, but too little time.
Life is, in reality, too short for all the things we want to do. It is too short to waste it on unnecessary discourse, to throw opportunities away when it comes knocking at your door and to let its precious moments get consumed by hatred, quarrel or dishonesty. Life is too precious for us not to care, love or withhold kindness when you can and politeness when it demands.
It is too precious for us to waste it any other way because someday or the other, whether we like it or not, it’s going to fade anyway. And the only thing that is going to matter in the end is how well you have lived, and not the positions you have held, the kind of people you associated yourself with, the luxury you enjoyed, or the wealth you have garnered.
If you and I have food in our platter every meal time to beat the hunger, or have the luxury of wearing a variety of clothes each passing day or simply, just enough to cover us; if we have a home to call our own just to return to the comfort and warmth it provides, a roof covering us from rain, wind, heat, cold or storm, then we have reason enough to be grateful not to talk of all our wants and desires that we habitually keep running after.
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The air that we breathe, the food that we eat, the clothes that we wear, the health that we enjoy, the comfort that our homes provide… these are such simple things and yet, very important gifts that most of us take for granted while we are busy accumulating wealth of another kind for ourselves.
The irony of it all is that nothing lasts forever. Not even our lives that we painstakingly build with treasures of the earth, the big plans we casually make unmindful of what may come for it is also true, we do not know how long our lives are going to last. But the only comfort lies in knowing that while we live, we live really well, so that when we go, we can also go in peace.
But to truly start valuing life, sometimes, it also takes a moment of grief because more often, it is only in times of losing that we realize the worth of having more than we deserve. The prize really lies in being grateful because a grateful heart opens the door to understanding the wonders of living even more wholesomely.
And to live with that understanding of life should be the goal of every human being for only then, we can start appreciating the things that come for free but are essentially more valuable than gold. We all know life is too short for us to waste it otherwise. Let our hearts be thankful for everything that makes living possible.
In the end, life is simply how you make of it that is going to decide what your life is. And so, it truly matters how you carry yourself and deal with people with that gentle human spirit from where you stand (regardless of whether others consider it important or less important). That your best is seen even in all the little things that you do, and that you shower kindness along the way because it’s one of the few gifts we are free to share or hold back.
It is so direly important to be human, to appreciate life and to share all its precious gifts; to grow and be a blessing in whatever way we can, wherever you are placed, because time never waits for us. It never stops for us to undo the things or take back the words we have said.
We have only one chance, one childhood, one youth and one life. But somebody, however, has rightly said that if we do it right, once is enough. And we must truly make the best of what we have, the best of whatever comes our way and the best of every opportunity to share life’s rich blessings with one another.
(Vishü Rita Krocha is a poet, author and a journalist by profession with experience in the field for over 10 years. She also runs a home-based publication house called PenThrill Publication House. Views expressed are her own.)