After having a nice lunch, two professionals were strolling along a boulevard of a big and busy city. One of them, in his 40s, asked the older one, a 65-year-old successful man, to share and refer projects to him. The older one answered abruptly. "Not now, when I will be 80 years old I will consider it." Unfortunately, four days later he died of heart failure. This true story might make us ponder about time.
The perception of time is distorted as long as our perception of reality emanates from our ego. When we objectively think about the concept of time we understand that time has no great and absolute significance since our time may be up at any given moment. But ego makes people think that they are the masters of their time.
Modesty and humility would shift their perspective into thinking otherwise. Maybe even realizing it is worthwhile being generous with their time vis-à-vis other people. By and large, dedicating our time to others is as important as giving money to the needy.
When we dedicate our time to others, and show them the way to improve their situation, they may end up supporting themselves financially, which would in turn give them pride and self-respect. I would like to think that the more we dedicate our precious time to others, the more we deposit time in our "account" in the "time bank" of our life.
Although generosity and kindness were embedded in us since kindergarten through bed time stories, games and Disney movies, somewhere along the journey of life we bury them so deep in our mind that they stop resonating as meaningful and relevant -- this happens in business and elsewhere.
It seems that the ego casts a shadow on all the right parameters that should affect our judgment and decisions. This shadow is so heavy that it makes us oblivious, even blind, to reality. Ignoring ego, locking it up in a virtual drawer, and then reacting -- will bring us new distilled experiences and refreshing feelings. I believe that this is reflected, too, in Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken."
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference."
For more by Nurit Alon, click here.
For more on mindfulness, click here.
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