I received an email as a form of a joke but it has the undeniable truth of how we prioritize the aspects of our lives incorrectly.
The joke narrative, in brief, describes a group of businessmen crossing paths with a small group of people living a very simple life, one very similar to Abufares’ Tartous he vividly reminisces. The businessmen ask the villagers how they spend their days, and the villagers explain how they simply fish and enjoy family and friends around. Businessmen respond by giving them more elaborate fishing ideas, expanding fishing boats to fleets and running a multimillion dollar business after many years of hard work. The villagers ask what’s the point. The businessmen reply saying they can then retire and spend times with their families.
Which is what the so called simpletons have been doing all along.
It’s interesting when you let it sink in. We spend time away from friends and family, planting seeds in other people’s gardens and harvesting very little. We are afraid to tend to our own garden – others’ are more expanse, presumably greener, and presumably have better soil. As the years pass, our own garden deteriorates even further, making it even more difficult to refocus and grow our own farm.
We hop around, till our garden dies away, the plants and the trees and the people we know and love but have never given them the time nor energy, all while we tend to others to “gain the experience” enough to remedy the ever deteriorating situation.
How sad is that.
Shouldn’t we give focus and energy to people and issues that really matter? How many opportunities do you come across in your life? And how many parents and grandparents and kids can you have in your life? Your health and happiness?
The opportunity of a lifetime? It’s hearing every story your parents have to tell. To be with family, with friends, and with loved ones. To experience life as it was really meant to be, and die knowing more about the people around you and their stories than the stagnant businesses and skills you’re told you need but never really do. To die knowing that you left more than an empty and readily replaceable chair at work – to pass on your own story and have your spirit linger around the recliner where you spent your final days.
“This is where your grandfather used to sit, and tell me stories of his grandmother’s siren phone and her great cooking.”