Someone recently shared with me life lessons he had learned. None of these lessons were all that surprising, but it was a nice reminder about life.
He said that as a child he was told life wasn’t fair, but as a child he didn’t want fair. He wanted everything for himself. As he got older he learned that life seemed to favour some people and not others and in some cases there was nothing he coul do about it. But he also learned that sometimes not being treated fair was a good thing, it keeps him humble.
When he was a teenager he wanted to be twenty in the blink of an eye. When he was twenty he wanted to be twenty-five in the blink of an eye. And then one day he blinked his eyes and he was sixty, time slipping past him far too quickly. He said it was as if his children just suddenly grew up and started lives of their own without him noticing. That’s the tricky things with time, it’s sneaks past us when we focus on details that in the end don’t really matter.
My friend said she he turned sixty and found his health declining he realized that his loyalty had been somewhat misplaced. He had been loyal to his employer, a professor at the same university his whole life. He out of some of the dreams his family had because the university needed him to do something else. When he retire the university had a very small party for him, plastic forks and paper cups and some store-bought cake to be served while he received a “small desk trinket”. That’s what his years of dedication snd loyalty amounted to, nothing more. It was his friends and family, those who sometimes had to miss out on things for his loyalty to the school that truly celebrated with him and honoured him. He said when he got sick he realized that this had always been the case, but he was blinded by the fancy carrot dangled in front of him by the school when he was younger.
He told me that he wasn’t always happy in those days. He was too worried about what his employer and boss thought of him. He was too busy listening to the criticism of his work, taking it a little too close as a finite truth. He let others, fear and judgment run his life and it cost him opportunities of laughter and joy. He didn’t even realize this until he was retired. The thing he was curious about, was how many moments did he miss out on? Those moments that passed him by without him noticing and never to come back.
He said of he could share these lessons with his former students, then he would have done them right.
Time will always go by too fast when we are busy pleasing others. When we are busy pleasing others we rob ourselves of opportunities to be happy, know joy and be ourselves. And Justice , well sometimes the wheels of justice turn slowly so it can be hard to see fairness in all circumstances, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t in the works. These are the reminders my friend shared with me. They are good reminders to live life fully to the best of our own abilities without worrying about the judgments and fine details that really don’t matter in the big picture.