Breaking The Wall
I sat there on my favorite bench in the park looking at the pond and the
reflection of the trees in the water. It was after my walk around
the park. It was a gorgeous day. One of those that reminds you how wonderful
it is to be alive and witness the splendor of life. The sky was blue with
patches of cloud here and there. You could feel the light breeze and hear
it passing through the trees. The flower patches around the pond were all
in bloom. There were many colors to please your eyes. I had taken the day
off to get away from my work and the daily routine for a change. It seemed
I had picked the perfect day and I wished I could do the same every day.
The truth is if I did repeat the same experience day after day, I would
not feel the same joy for long. At some point, I would stop seeing all
the colors and the harmonious nature around the pond. The key is
the variety of our experiences in life. The more things we try, the richer
our life becomes. Unfortunately, most of us have a tendency to stay on
the same path throughout our lives. We sort of follow what others have
done in the past. We choose a career earlier in life, have a family somewhere
along the line, find a circle of friends and acquaintances, accumulate
material things and end up sustaining our life styles and our worldly possessions
for the rest of our lives. There are always expressions of regrets about
something we should have done but could not because of this or that.
I always wonder what happens to us when we grow old. As kids, we approach
everybody and everything without hesitation. We trust others easily. Our
love is unconditional. There are no boundaries. There is no fear about
the consequences of our actions. We ignore our past experiences when it
comes to trying new adventures and most of all, we never stop trying. Every
day is a new beginning, without any bad memories or baggage from the past.
What happens when we get older? As grown ups, for the most part, we lose
it all. Trusting others does not come easily. Loving each other becomes
a matter of give and take. Trying new experiences takes a lot of effort
since failure becomes a major concern. When it comes to taking new chances,
we check our memory bank for the past references. Reward systems play a
major role in our lives. We do things not because of the sheer joy of a
new experience but because we expect to receive something in return. Before
adulthood, it is a piece of candy or money to get us to conform to the
family's value system. A grading system is next to make us learn. Later
on in life, we end up staying in lousy jobs for the right amount of
money or lousy relationships for all the wrong reasons. No wonder so many
of us go through mid-life crisis. I guess it is the awakening to question
our values and choices in life before it becomes too late.
I wonder what life is all about. Is it about taking risks and discovering
one's potentials? Or is it about staying on a mundane and well-traveled
road by others through life? How often do we stop in the midst of the daily
hustle and bustle and ask ourselves if this is really why we are here?
As children, we do not have much saying in the way our parents raise us.
At some point in life when we become the master of our own faith, we still
remain on the same path like sheep. I guess for most of us it is too late.
We have lost all our curiosities and fearless desire to discover life.
So we stay on the path with the least amount of surprises.
I envy people who break the tradition and live their lives to the fullest.
Their talent is to keep their zest for life while living it. They have
found their own value system. They have discovered there is no right or
wrong. They have understood that as long as they adhere to basic human
values, they can follow their passions in life and live in harmony with
others. Failure does not exist in their vocabulary. It's all about trials
and enriching one's life. It is about the journey itself and not the destination.
Reaching the destination is just the beginning of yet another journey.
The first thing you notice when you step inside the Blue Mosque in Istanbul,
is its majestic openness. There are no hidden corners. You walk in and
find yourself in a grandeur space that surrounds you with its soothing
and spiritual quietness. I believe life is meant to be as open and as grand
as the Blue Mosque. The sky is indeed the limit. It's up to us to tear
down the imaginary walls, get rid of our self imposed restrictions,
climb out of our cocoons and find our potentials and the joy of living.
It is easy to fall back on our past experiences to justify lack of taking
chances. It takes a lot of courage and effort to face our realities and
to overcome our shortcomings. And it is all worth it since life becomes
fulfilling and rich. The kid in us is still there waiting to be born
once more to take every day as a new beginning.
As for me, I hope I have no regrets when I reach the end. I hope I can
look back and tell myself, I would not change a thing if I had the chance
to do it over again. It's wishful thinking on my behalf since I already
have regrets about some of my choices in life. Maybe someday I will realize
they were the right ones after all. But for now, I look forward to tomorrow
and the day after. Who knows perhaps something wonderful will happen. All
I have to do is reach out, seize the moment and feel the joy of being alive.
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