Chapter 4 - Life

Splitting the Arrow - chapter 4
Jul 28, 2017


What are you living for?
For the yesterday
that will never return?
Or for the tomorrow
that will never arrive?
The only place you can be
is the moment called now.

25,550 days
The average lifespan is around 70 years.
That is 25,550 days.

How will you spend this one?

How many times a day do we look at a clock?

Do we understand what that clock is saying to us?

It is telling us we won’t be here forever.
Time only moves in one direction, and when our time is up there is no way to extend it.

What does that mean for you?
A tree does not look at a calendar.
Trees don’t say to each other, ‘Tomorrow is the first day of spring, let’s celebrate. Are you ready to bloom?’
The tree just follows the natural cycle of the seasons as they come and go.
In your life also, the spring should come, you should bloom and celebrate that you are alive today.
When the season comes, the tree will bloom, and when your season comes, take that opportunity.

Live this moment
We often hear that life is a gift.
Sometimes we struggle to see it that way.
We hear that life is precious. But in the busy routine of everyday life we often forget.
Every day the alarm clock goes off and our routine begins.
In our minds we know what we need to do.
‘I must go to the bus stop, I must get to the train, I must get to my office on time.’
All these musts that we place in front of life itself.
Some people are in a hurry. ‘Faster and faster!’
Why are you hurrying? Don’t you know what is waiting for you at the end of this journey?
Time is an interesting thing. Sometimes it goes by slowly, sometimes it goes by quickly. But it doesn’t let you go any slower than it, or any faster. You’re caught on this little boat, and it makes its passage down this river in its own time. The purpose of this life is not to get to the end; it is now.
It is to feel what is within.
It is to enjoy every fractional moment. Live this moment, every moment.
If you want to understand why you are alive, centre yourself in this moment called now. Your life, being fulfilled, your existence – these things all reside in the now.
When you think you have reached a dead end in your life, turn around and head back. Let that be the start of a new road. If you can live your life like that, every day can be fulfilling. Even when things look hopeless, you can find something beautiful in that day.
Your actions have produced the results you see in your life right now.
If you don’t like the results, you need a new course of action.

The king’s desserts
The king summoned his chef. ‘Today,’ he said, ‘I want you to make the most delicious dessert for me.’ The chef nodded and went back to the kitchen.
This may not seem an unreasonable request, but it is what happened every day. The king wanted the most delicious desserts every night. And the routine was starting to wear thin for the chef. Every evening the king had his dinner, and no matter what the chef conjured up, the king was not satisfied. ‘The most delicious dessert’ is all the chef heard, night after night.
Well, today he was going to do something about it and give the king something to remember.
And remember it the king did! After dinner, the most sumptuous dessert was brought in front of the king. The aroma filled the palace.
Everyone who smelled it felt their mouths beginning to water. Tonight the chef had outdone himself.
As the king began to feast on the dessert, he noticed that mice from all around the palace had been drawn into the royal dining room by the wonderful smell. They were everywhere. The dining table began to fill up with mice. They were crawling on the curtains and not even the king’s beard was spared as the mice searched for any tiny morsel of the leftover dessert.
This was a royal disaster. Mice everywhere – on the carpet, over the paintings and tapestries – and more were still coming.
An emergency meeting had to be convened to ascertain how to deal with the problem.
Clearing his throat, the king said, ‘What will we do? We have been invaded by mice. Speak up if anyone has any ideas.’
The ministers talked among themselves and declared, ‘Your Royal Highness, we have come to the conclusion that cats should be called in to clear the mice.’
Now this seemed reasonable.
The general was summoned and given orders that all the cats in the kingdom were to be collected and brought to the palace immediately.
Soon the cats started to appear and this did indeed get rid of the mice, but now the palace was full of cats.
Cats, cats, everywhere! Scratching everything, lounging on the royal furniture, sharpening their claws on the royal curtains. The constant miaows and purrs were almost deafening.
It was time for another meeting.
The king started off, ‘Well, any more ideas?’
As before the ministers got into a loud argument. After some time they declared, ‘Your Royal Highness, we recommend you bring in dogs, because cats don’t like dogs.’
The general was summoned and ordered to round up all the dogs in the kingdom and bring them to the palace.
Soon the cats were replaced by dogs. Now there was nothing but barking, and the dogs were a little less discrete with their personal habits.
It was time for another meeting and this time it was decided that as dogs were afraid of tigers, the kingdom’s tigers should be rounded up and brought to the palace.
Soon the dogs started to disappear and the palace began to fill up with the tigers.
This posed a serious problem!
The tigers were not only ferocious, but no one dared to move a muscle, afraid that the tigers might attack them.
With great difficulty, another meeting was convened and it was decided that elephants be immediately summoned to the palace, because tigers were afraid of elephants.
No sooner had the elephants started to arrive than the tigers fled, leaving things in a bigger mess than before. Now the whole palace was full of elephants and there was no place to move.
The elephants were breaking things and the disaster was absolutely intolerable.
Pretty soon the palace started to fill up with elephant dung. The stench was indescribable.
Well, it was time for another meeting and this time it was decided that the mice should be called in, because elephants were afraid of mice.
The general complied and as the mice started to arrive, the elephants left. Everyone at the palace found themselves back where they had started, with mice everywhere.
The king now realized that he was actually to blame for the whole fiasco. Had it not been for his greed this would have never happened.
When a problem arises, people tend to look for immediate relief, but we often don’t think about the fundamental solutions to the problems we face. When we fail to understand the true nature of the problem at hand, all too often we create even bigger problems with our short-term solutions. This ends up wasting our time and wastes precious resources.
What are the root causes of the problems you are facing right now in your life?

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