This thought had been bothering me of late and it seemed to dominate all the things I did. In fact, it had colored my every move making me slack off from my professional and personal life. That is why when Robert my dear friend suggested we go to the beach I agreed immediately. I decided as we walked along the shore on this warm day with the waves lazily hitting the shore, I would definitely give voice to my thoughts.
I suggested that we sit down to eat at a fast food joint and then when we had placed our orders, I turned to Robert and said “Something has been bothering for quite a while. You may have noticed that I have been kind of low for the past few days”
Robert simply smiled and patted my hand and looked deep into my eyes and said “I know that. Why do you think I suggested this trip?”
As I looked back at his deep blue eyed gaze which was pretty intense, I thought to myself that this man is really dear to me. Fast on the heels of the thought came the thought that maybe I was falling for this friend of mine. This is not something that I was prepared to think about. So I shook my head and said “You know, lately I have been thinking what is the point of life? We are all going to die one day. Death is the only thing that is certain, then why are we bothering with all this running around?
Robert just leaned back on his chair and gave me a slow smile. He picked up the glass of iced tea that had been served and asked me to take a sip. He said “How does the drink feel?”
I sat there puzzled but decided to go with the question and said “Cold of course”
He picked up the salt shaker and shook a grain on my hand and asked me once again “What does this feel like?”
By now I was getting pretty annoyed but managed to spit out “Salty of course”
Then he asked me to close my eyes and then open my mouth slowly and that he would be feeding me something. I closed my eyes wondering what he was going to feed me. Though I was feeling annoyed with him for playing the game, I was also wondering what he was going to feed me. I wished he would be feeding me chocolate which I love and prayed that he would not think of something nasty like piece of raw cabbage which I was not very fond of.
He then waited for a couple of beats and placed a morsel on my tongue. For about a couple of seconds my heartbeat thudded with anticipation and I then closed my mouth only to discover that he had placed a bit of soft mint on my tongue. I was delighted at the lovely chewy flavor and the fresh taste. I smiled in delight at the taste and relief at not being fed anything bitter and opened my eyes. Even now I was not sure where Robert was going with all this. I looked across at the table with a questioning look.
Robert simply smiled and said “There is your reason for living life to the fullest.”
I still did not get it and asked him what he meant? He explained things in such a way that I was stumped.
Here is what he said on Death Is Certain Life Is Not:
- We should live life to the fullest because it is not certain. That is exactly what makes it so thrilling – the not knowing what you are going to be served next. It is the hope that something nice is waiting for us that makes us get up daily and do things.
- It is the fear of what may go wrong that prepares us for the hardships. It makes us thankful when things don’t go wrong and take delight when things work out. Also when we hit a roadblock it makes us even more determined to move ahead and overcome our difficulties so that we can get to the good things.
- If we always knew how everything would turn out then we would be bored and would not strive to do more than what we considered the bare minimum. Then humanity would never see the amount of progress that we have seen now.
- The fact that life is not certain is not meant to keep us off balance but it is meant to keep us alert. It is meant to make us enjoy what we do get. Difficulties and uncertainties are just supposed to make us stronger and are also meant to serve as a contrast so that we may enjoy the good times even more.
As I listened to Robert expound on the meaning of life, I was stunned. While I thought what he had told me would not figure on the list of cute romantic things to say to your girlfriend, it was deeply wise and so utterly simple. I was almost ashamed that my thinking had gone the way it had. However, now that I realized that uncertainty can be a good thing, I knew I had to acknowledge that what I felt for Robert was more than friendship; I was in love with him!
While I did not know whether he liked me as more than a friend or whether by taking up this matter I was putting this friendship at stake, I knew I had to talk to him. After all the thrill of life lay in the uncertainty.
I looked at him in the eye and told him “Rob, I am in love with you. What should I do?”
The look of absolute delight on his face and the love in his eyes were all the answers I needed. As we hugged and kissed much to the delight of other people at the fast food joint, I knew I loved life the way it was – uncertain!