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Monday, December 12, 2005

It's all about the cups

Here's a nice forward that I got and it has an equally beautiful message.

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That's Life
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A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university lecturer. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the lecturer went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups: porcelain,plastic, glass, some plain-looking and some expensive and exquisite, telling them to help themselves to hot coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the lecturer said:

"If you noticed, all the nice-looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the better cups and are eyeing each other's cups."

"Now, if Life is coffee, then the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, but the quality of Life doesn't change."

"Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee in it."

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For a long time in my life I thought I was unfortunate because I didn't get what was rightly mine. It helped fuel some inner hate/cynicism that I thought had kept me going for so long. But I was wrong, and the sooner I learned to accept who I was, the more comfortable life has become. No, I'm not going to say that it was easy. In fact, I won't even say that it's easy right now, because sometimes you have no idea and are totally unprepared for what comes your way. But then, you try to take the impact by deflecting as much of the inital momentum as possible away from you.

But maybe you didn't manage to do this, and now you're laying on the floor, looking up at the sky, trying to catch your breath...

And this is when a smile breaks across your lips. You begin to wonder why you never noticed the clouds were so wispy, or how raven's feathers tend to sparkle in bright sunlight and give off the most irradescent hues of a violet-black. And then you breathe out. It feels good to be alive, and you've always known this. But laying here on the floor you begin to believe it. And then you notice that the ground that you lay on is warm and comforting. Like a cow licking its calf in its first few moments after birth, the warm, tender soil urges you on; allowing you to rest till you're ready to move on, of course. And that's exactly what you do. You sit up to look around at the world around you. There's not too much that's different, but you're seeing it differently. You blink, just to make sure. Nope. And then another blink. Still nothing. Your eyes fill up. Are you sad? No. In fact, you're feeling happy. You've never felt like this before. You place a palm on the ground and raise yourself up...slowly. On the way up you feel every sinew, every fibre of your being come to life. You pause... The pain is still there; it still hurts. But now the pain drives you. The rest of the way up is a blur.

Now you're on both feet, firmly planted on the ground. You notice that you're breathing heavily. It's been hard, very hard. As a matter of fact, you think back to that fraction of a second when you were laying on the floor and you thought that you weren't going to make it. You smile again. What were you thinking? You turn around and look at the spot where, just moments ago, you thought your whole life had flashed before your eyes. But now, as you look down at the ground, you find there is no sign, no trace. There's nothing there to tell you that you'd been here. There's nothing there to tell you that you're the only one who came down this path. All there is is the path that lies before you. And you look up, raising your forearm to wipe off your sweaty, dust-encrusted face. The brilliant, fiery sun that had once drained the life-force from you now enraptures your battered body. You've been standing for a couple of minutes now, and now you're feeling in control. As you look up the path that presents itself to you, you realize suddenly that the way forward is the only way. You breathe in deeply.

You close your eyes, and put your right foot forward. Blind faith...because that's all you ever really had...
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