Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Thoughts On The New Year
The older you get the faster time goes. When I was a kid, it was different. I remember sitting in my third grade class watching the clock. It was just after one o’clock and school let out at three. I thought that was an awfully long time to wait. And the summer breaks seemed joyously forever. The whole summer was mine. No morning rush to school. No home work. No anxiety ridden tests. Just my time! And who could even think about high school graduation? That was eons away.
And suddenly I found myself graduating from college. And soon after, getting married. And next came kids. Still, age 40 seemed long away. And when I reached 40, 50 was like being old. But when I got to 50 it wasn’t so bad at all. I recalibrated 60 as old. Now I’m way past 60, and 70 doesn’t seem so bad.
One year uncreasingly tumbles into the next. Soon decades and centuries become insignificant. Millenniums are but a drop in eternal time. Events, generations, and history itself unfolds like some bizarre, fast forward film. We are powerless to stop it. Our health and fortunes and all we hold dear can evaporate in an instant. And I am reminded of the story of the ‘hairy sage.’
There once was a sage who lived by the banks of the Ganges River. He spent much of his time in meditation and he understood the difference between that which is ‘sat’ (eternal) and that which is ‘asat’ (temporary). He had been destined to live until all the hairs on his chest fell off. He is described as a ‘hairy’ sage. The thing is - only a single hair fell off during a day of Brahma (which is millions upon millions of years). So this sage was going to live for an awfully long time. One day he was asked, “Why don’t you build yourself a nice home?” The sage replied, “Why should I bother? I’m only here temporarily.”
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