Dear darling friends,
Napoleon was involved in a conversation with a war hardened, old looking, colonel of the Hungarian battalion. He had been taken as a prisoner after being defeated in a war, along the borders of Italy.
“How old are you?” asked Napoleon. ”I’m sure I’ve lived sixty or seventy years,” replied the colonel. “You mean to say,” a bemused Napoleon continued, “You have not kept meticulous track of the years you have lived?
The colonel promptly replied, “Sire, I always count my money, my shirts, and my horses – but as for my years, I know nobody who wants to steal them, and I shall surely never lose them.”
When I read this story, a word flashed in my mind, “WOW”.
I could picture the colonel standing as a prisoner in the presence of Napoleon. I could picture the colonel, defeated yet proud; a prisoner yet free; defiant yet humble.
A few questions flashed!
Why do we count our years?
Why our birthday, fascinate us? After all, our birth was never OUR achievement?
Why some years scintillate – like turning 16 or 18 or 25, and some age milestones, horrify us? Does imagining yourself as a 60 years old or maybe a 75 years old, horrify you? Why should it? What if there were no calendars in the world?
Why our age is a factor in our retirement and NOT our ability to contribute?
Why our age is a factor in our marriage and NOT the readiness to marry?
Imagine, no more celebrating of birthdays or anniversaries! Imagine, we celebrating milestones of LIFE when they happen and NOT every year!
For example, I asked myself, what if, I decide not to celebrate my birthday, and the next celebration will be the day I reach the milestone of 90 kgs of body weight (today I am a Centurian. Ouch).
Or, the next celebration will be the day I run my first marathon?
Or, the next celebration will be the day I have donated over Rs 1 crore?
Or, the next celebration will be the day the number of subscribers for “Life School Messages” cross 1 lac.
Time anyway passes. Can we take credit for time that has passed? What is the point in celebrating August 15th every year if there is no patriotism in the hearts, neither was there significant contribution towards the country? And even if there is patriotism in the heart, should we not be doing things that matter for the country more consistently than doing it once a year just to celebrate the anniversary?
I ask myself if my celebrations are “Milestones of LIFE”, will I then, put more efforts to reach my goals? Will my life be driven by meaning and purpose? Will I become more accountable?
I have not reached any conclusions. I am still contemplating. I would love to know your thoughts. Please contribute to the conversation.
With love, prayers and exceptional wishes,
Imagine, when we wake up, we are given only what we had thanked for.