When life wants to teach you some lessons, it seems to always throw in your face declarations you’ve made. And almost every time these declarations include the words ‘Never’ and ‘Always’. For example, I swore I’d never marry someone based in Mumbai. Life had the last laugh, and the man I married is a Mumbaikar born and bred. Lucky for me, that he some 8 years into our marriage, he agreed to move cities. What I’ve learnt from this and a lot of similar lessons is – never say ‘never’ and never say ‘always’.
Never Say Never And Never Say Always
All of us have our notions about life and how it should be lived. We make rules for ourselves and sadly, even for other people. Our preconceived notions about people and their behaviour can often lead to us ending up as the losers for missing out on opportunities to learn and grow. It could also prove fatal as in this fable.
A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.
Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”
The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”
So the rowboat went on.
Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”
To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”
So the motorboat went on.
Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”
To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”
So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.
Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”
To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”
Sometimes we get so stuck in what we can and cannot do, will or will not undertake that we become slaves to our own ‘nevers’ and ‘alwayses’. Openness is what leads to growth. The willingness to have our theories disproved is what makes us better human beings.
“I have no obligation to be who I used to be.” – Fumo Sasaki, Goodbye, Things
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