The art of setting down and picking up things in life
March 10, 2017
Some time back ago. I chanced on an old friend who for some reason seemed very determined to donate a large sum of money to the village school.
When this person heard that a local towkay had better him by donating a larger sum. He was enraged and immediately doubled his donation with the words – I cannot lose!
I know the history of this man very well. He started with only a modest veggie patch. During his early days many of the villagers looked down on him. Some may even have been deliberately cruel and harassed his family. That is why now that he has come to wealth he still harbours revenge in his heart.
When this man asked my opinion as to whether his donation will be enough to show the villagers that he is a man of consequence.
I merely told my friend. You are fighting a ghost army. You must try your very best to set aside the past hurts and humiliations. I know revenge lies at the center of your intentions to donate such a large sum. But what are you trying to prove. After all whatever happened is in the distant past. It is no more. It might as well have occured on the surface of the moon in another life. Look at you now. Your children have grown up and you are no longer the young man you used to be. Can you not see – you are a new man.
As for those who once conspired against you and your kinsmen. They too have probably wised up to the error of their ways and although none of them would ever admit what was once done was wrong. I am sure even they are very sorry and regretful to such a point where if they had the opportunity to relive their lives again – they would probably not have gone there.
So why are you fighting a ghost army from the distant past? Why do you cling to the past hurts and humiliation? It is no more. That man has gone and now there is only the new man.
I went on to advise my friend. If for whatever reason, he’s unable to forgive and forget the trespass of others in his past. Then it is better if he just disappears completely from sight and not bother with donating anything at all.
As all that would do is to relive the hell of the past in the present.
‘If you think about it. Life is really all about picking new things the best one can and setting them down gracefully with an open heart. That you could say is the only thing we really do in the long journey of life.
At each level of life. The things we once possessed and even took for granted will begin to leave us one by one…..beauty, vigor and stamina is just a few worth mentioning. But even if one is forced to set these things down….do so gracefully and with an open heart. Do not grudgingly cling to those things that once came your way with a death grip.
Many people cannot put the things that once came into their life down. What that may be is not important….it could be youth, looks or whatever. And when they cannot do simply this – in a sense they are all not so different from the fabled drug addict whose seduced by the narcotic of power. As to try to cling on to things when they are meant to be set down has to be the highest form of madness.
Hence the phrase power crazy.
But not being able to put down these things gracefully and with an open heart also means one can only sabotage many other things that will come into one’s life at different phases of one’s journey in life.
A woman who comes to motherhood is a new creation. Yes, the woman was always there, but the mother is a very new thing that did not previously exist – but if this woman doesn’t set down the things before she came into motherhood and is still clingy to her single care free life – then she cannot be a good mother and her child is likely to suffer. As she is immature and does not undersrand the Dao of letting go of a thing before one can pick up a new thing.
The same applies to a man who ventures into business. Again the man was always there. And he is still there. Only in the past it was quite a different sort of man – a salaried worker. But this new man who is a business man is nothing short of a new creation that did not exist before.
And again if this man clings to his carefree attitude of salaried life. He is unlikely to succeed in growing his enterprise.
The same applies to a politician who transitions into statesmanship. Again the man was always there. And he is still there. Only this time round, to enable him to excel in the art of statecraft this new man would do well to set aside the old politician in his past life. If this man is clingy to the past. Then the country will be ruined and many will suffer.
I guess what I am trying to say is one must absolutely learn to put down old things BEFORE it’s possible to pick up new things.’