Sunday, January 14, 2007

Prized Possessions

I recently received an SMS from a cousin of mine asking me what my dearest and most prized possessions were and as always, I ended up mulling over it for longer than necessary. So, after careful consideration for about a couple of hours, I finally narrowed down my choices to two things, which strangely are material and immaterial at the same time! In either case, here is my train of thought as I finally picked my two prized possessions that I wouldn’t trade for anything else in the world- not money, not love, NOTHING. Something that I hold dear that could not be snatched away from me no matter what. Something that defines the essence of my existence. What are they?
As is the case with all love monkeys, my first thought was that I hold the love of my life as my dearest possession. Then I wondered whether love by itself was sufficient to last me a lifetime of smiles. Rationally, it is not. So I moved on to think what else. Money? Hmmm… money never was and never will be a deciding factor in any of the decisions I ever make in this lifetime. I accept that money is what makes the world go round but frankly, I have no intentions of trying to garner a whole lump of money under my seat. All the money in the world could never be enough, so I would rather not spend my life running after something that takes away my most prized possessions. I hate money.
Next, is it my family? Possibly. They are the strongest of the four pillars that hold my life in place. I love all of them a lot and could give up almost anything for them… almost. Not quite my most prized possessions though. Third on the list but not among the top two. I am a little self-centered aren’t I? Well I suppose that’s me. I mean, why are you living? It is a freak accident that I am here and now, breathing the air I am and making sense of something that might be nothing more than a nanosecond in the history of the universe but whatever it is, I am here to make the most of the opportunity to try and make sense of it all.
Well, I suppose by now it is established that it isn’t anything material… it isn’t something metaphysical either. So, what the heck is it? Think about it. I too struggled to try to identify my priorities and my possessions at that point of time. Yet, ironically the answer hit me in the moment that I was where I was. I was at work (Yeah, I know, I finally caved in and started working this week.) trying to understand some complicated process that made no sense to me at all. So why the heck was I doing it? Why the heck was I wasting my time in trying to understand something that I probably could have chosen not to. Why the heck was I racking my brains over something so non-sensical?
Then it was that it hit me. What had I done over the past four and a half months while I was sitting at home and relaxing with my feet put up? I was writing and thinking with all the time I ever needed or wanted. I could go wherever, do whatever as I wished, whenever. But here I was now, sitting in the air conditioned office of a strange organization that manufactured some god-forsaken apparatus trying to understand how the apparatus worked. This at a time when I could have been sitting in a class-room learning German. Why had I given up on the time when I was making the most of the two greatest gifts given to me after life itself and was instead crammed in a room full of people trying to rake in some moolah. Why was I running after the thing I hated most giving up my two prized possessions for reasons that didn’t seem logical to me?
I’ll stop beating about the bush. My prized possessions are my mind and my time… I would not waste my mind over anything that does not bring in a little happiness into my life. I will not numb my mind with any amount of drugs or alcohol no matter what the hardship cause the mind is the only tool that can enable me to overcome those obstacles. I will not waste my mind by cribbing over some trivial and unnecessary problems. I will not waste my time over tasks that do not interest me. I will not waste my time in pursuing any activity that does not enable me to reach a goal that I have set my sights on and finally, I will not waste any more of my time or my mind in trying to explain the reasons for my choice. Whether you have understood what I have tried to say or not, I would encourage you to take stock of where you stand at this point of time and what you hold dearest to you. Whatever it is, hold on to it and never let go…

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