In tears, he asked, “You can’t abandon me.”
“Sorry,” I sympathetically replied.
Shrugging it off, he chuckled. “Oh please. You said yourself that no one knows how long someone has to live. You said you were going to die over a year ago. And here you are.”
“What will I do without you? You’re my only friend,” he whispered.
“Make new friends.”
“I don’t fit in here.”
“Having worked here since college, you’re now fairly wealthy. You can ‘cash out,’ return to your native homeland and live in relative ease.”
“I won’t fit in.”
“So, let me understand,” I said. “You’ve worked here all this time and have friends neither here nor at home?”
Revealing a painful truth, “Yes.”
What you think you want out of life and how we spend our days in it, may not be nearly as important as the vital layers accumulating within you, hidden in plain sight.
Several years ago, writer David Allen wrote the following:
Love for friends and family, the decency we exchange with those around us, the value of not doing “great things,” but small things in a great way. Those are life’s moments inscribed in our heart.
Further borrowing from Allen, What the conversation between my friend and I remind us to do is that money is not the ultimate goal in life and each of us must take our heart out and read it every so often.
I conclude with the following.
As a laborer walked home along a river, he saw a shimmering in the river.When he looked, he saw a diamond necklace. But the river was completely polluted, filthy and smelly. Still, he decided to try and catch it so he could gain it’s reward. He put his hand in the filthy, dirty river and grabbed at the necklace, but somehow missed it. The second time, he walked into the river and put his whole arm in to catch the necklace. And again, he missed the necklace. Feeling depressed, he did a most disgusting thing and plunged completely into the river. Yet, he failed again.
Just then, a Buddhist monk came upon him.
“What are you doing?” queried the monk.
The man didn’t want to share the secret, so he refused to say.
The monk asked again, “What are you doing?”
The man mustered some courage and told the monk about the necklace and his attempts to catch it.
Taking compassion at the pitiful man, the Monk replied, “Perhaps you should try looking upward, toward the branches of the tree, instead of in the river.”
The man looked up, and true enough, the necklace was dangling on the branch of a tree. All this time, he had only been trying to capture a mere reflection.