Mr. Floyd Bottomsup was teaching a history lesson describing the accomplishments and adventures of Alexander the Great and his beloved horse Bucephalus to a class of 6th graders. Bottomsup finishes the class stressing that if one has a dream and pursues it singlemindedly, each of the kids could achieve even greater things than Alexander and rewrite history. Next day, the teacher asked the kids if they had some questions about the previous lesson. One kid raises his hand and says that he rewrote history and he can show it his notebook. The teacher is pleasantly surprised calls him to come forth and show his notebook. The note reads:
Alexandria the Great was a teenage girl who rode a chocolate breathing Dragon. She used her dragon to fly around the world and produce magic sleeping gas from the dragon’s behind that puts the teachers to sleep. She fought for the freedom of kids to escape the boredom of the Classroom and play all day.
It was a tragic comedy or comic tragedy…Like LIFE.
Life is like La Choy SWEET and SOUR sauce….One cannot separate the COMEDY from the TRAGEDY or the SWEET from the SOUR. It is the same for everybody, whether you are Roger Federrer or Angela Merkel or the pizza delivery guy.
Yes, there are moments of inexpressible joy and happiness and then, there are periods of exasperating anguish and grief. We all know how to handle the upward cycle of life. But how do we handle the downward cycle? By having the right perspective and not resisting the flow of life.
What is your age? Don’t answer that..What is the age of Universe?
13.8 billion years from current scientific estimates…that is 13800000000000 years
Where do we live?
Observable universe has about 1oo billion galaxies in the and our planet is the 4th smallest planet of a very small solar system in the Milky Way Galaxy. Our sun is just one of the hundred billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy.
1oo billion is 100000000000…there are more stars in the Milky Way then the grains of sand on Earth
Even the staunchest skeptic cannot but marvel at the immensity of space and the boundlessness of time. For life on Earth to flourish a unique set of conditions had to be met such as suitable distance from the Sun and the amount of dark energy (something akin to anti-gravity) in our Universe had to be of appropriate levels so that the Universe does not collapse within itself. If this does not sound like a miracle, I give you another example.
You…Your presence on Earth started with the perilous journey of about 300 million sperms of which finally only one sperm is able to fuse with the mother’s egg. The genetic information from these two cells is responsible for your uniqueness in the cosmos. The fascinating and mindboggling transformation of two cells to form into a human being with functional organs of ever increasing complexity such as brain, lungs and heart in 40 weeks is miracle as jaw-dropping as the Milky Way Galaxy. Just consider the brain which has a network of 100 billion neurons relaying information at speeds of 270 miles per hour.
In Hindu mythology, Gods are described as merely rulers of one cycle of existence. Even Gods have to be born on Earth, to seek enlightenment and freedom. A human life is precious and valuable for we are as Gods born on Earth. We might be flawed Gods and we may fall due to our fears, greed and lust. No one is lost for ever. We have the potential to achieve greatness and handle the trials and tribulations of life with grace and poise. We come from the same stuff as stardust, black holes and supernovas. We come from infinity and go back to that infinity when our lives come to an end. Remember this next time you are down and out.
But lets not forget that human life is fragile. Our life can be snuffed out as easily as the light of a candle. Steve Jobs used to ask himself this question everyday:
“If today was the last day of my life, would I be doing what I am about to do today”.
Death can become a gift if we make it our best friend. Death is life’s transforming agent, a benediction in disguise. Acknowledging our own impermanence everyday will give us the strength to finally shed away our fears, prejudices and all narrow views like a snake casts off its skins. We, then become truly capable of following our higher calling and use our time wisely and cherish and treasure the relationships we are gifted with.
Then, indeed every day is New Year ’s Day and every night is Christmas night. We all have a lot to be grateful for the gift of one more day and experience the mystery and chaos of the macrocosm and microcosm.