“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”
― Oscar Wilde
Most of the time it feels like a miracle to be in a place that we would’ve never imagined being there more than a decade ago. Our childhood often tells a story that contains many impossible dreams. The idea of being raised in a developing country and the ability to live in a developed world were never thought to be existed on the same page. The idea of growing up hating every foreign language that we were forced to learn at school, at times seemed to destroy the light on our future in a world where our home language has become a distant past. But over time, experiences have taught us one thing. Life is supposed to be unravelled at the right moment. And our lifelong commitment to go along with the universe also means our willingness to start from the beginning all over again.
We shall learn to cultivate the seeds of gratitude for everything, starting from the simplest things in life. We shall learn to take a deep breath every time we feel the need to rush, to save our youth and to run through life as if we are going to die any moment from now. We shall learn to always speak with a kind heart, a generous mind and a compassionate soul. We shall learn to be curious towards everything we encounter in life. Gratitude and curiosity are the secret ingredients for happiness. Don’t pursue as if there is something that needs to be chased after. We shall choose simplicity over complexity. The pursuit of happiness after all is merely a delusional reality constructed by society.
And that is certainly the hardest choice we ever have to face in this lifetime. A couple of years ago, I was given a chance to be working with the older adults in a nursing home, and at the time, I didn’t quite fully understand the significance of this early exposure. I remember listening to so many heartbreaking, yet beautiful life stories that I would never be able to forget for the rest of my life. I remember dancing with them, listening to music with them, making bread together with them and staying up late one night just because I wanted to see what it was like at the end of the day.
They have taught me so much about what it was like to grow up in North America in the 50s. They have given me the immense love for art, music, food & culture and the constant yearning for stories. I still have vivid memories of dancing with them along with the melody of their childhood songs. And until this day, this experience has shaped my identity, my values, my beliefs and most of all, my philosophy towards the art of living. Authentic connections are rare in this world as most of the time, we feel the rush to meet someone merely to avoid our feeling of loneliness. And we think that that is the scariest thing we have to go through in life. But one day, we will probably come to realize the absurdity in our own thoughts.
“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist