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« Golden Years 2 The Young and The Restless | Main | Adversity introduces a man to himself* -Where Are They Now »

May 24, 2017



Speaking of the 4 stages of life, I am reminded of a book that influenced me as a young adult: the novel Siddhartha, written by the German author Herman Hesse.
The story imagines the life of Siddhartha Gautama,
the buddha. He strays from a pampered lifestyle becuase he realizes that wealth and sheltered protection are neither enablers of happiness nor any solution to the inevitable suffering of sickness, age, and death. He leaves home and tries to find happiness, first through asceticism, then reversing course toward sensual pleasures and material wealth, followed by regret and reflection, and eventually to the spiritual peak of enlightenment, when he can help the world around him.

This book is brief, and mysteriously fascinating to read at any age, but the depth of comprehension increases with the reader's own years of experience.
In the 2nd life stage, as a poor, yet young and ambitious man seeking love and success, he explains his key talents as follows: "I can think; I can wait; I can fast.". After attaining riches and success, he later laments that, "he had spent his life in an entirely worthless and senseless manner; he retained nothing vital, nothing in any way precious or worth while. He stood alone, like a shipwrecked man on the shore."
Then he gives it up and turns to a simpler life as a ferryman, helping travellers to cross a river. He gains the wisdom to appreciate other people, "their vanities, desires and trivialities no longer seemed absurd to him." In his final stage or wisdom he says, "When someone is seeking, it happens quite easily that he only sees the thing that he is seeking; that he is unable to find anything, unable to absorb anything, because he is only thinking of the thing he is seeking, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal."

While I still dwell in my adult prime-time phase, taking on increasing greater responsibilities for career, family, and community, I hope that I, too, can look forward to a slower life, this golden-age of choosing means over goals, enjoying the song of birds in the garden and guests in the kitchen.


Anand- Very few have the gift of capturing life's simplest but precious moments like you do.
I like most, take 100s of pictures due to the ease of it, and some watch momentous events like Whales frolicking, thru the video lens- because Oh- we want to share it on social media, and we should not miss a single moment- when you have actually missed the whole moment! We forget to just see it with our eyes and reflect on the beauty. And then we lament that we have no time to relax.

This Mockingbird- We have one in our neighbors’ yard- and he sits on our chimney, and sings us awake at 4 AM without fail. And annoys us so much. The only reason we have not set our son’s little BB gun on him- is because it also reminds me of Harper Lee’s book and it seemed sacrilegious.

When I read your reflection- I thought- How come- when I actually love wildlife, do I not appreciate them in my own back yard? It’s because- I want my sleep so I can have a “productive” day. We also have a hummingbird- who visits us once in the morning and in the evening- after the sprinklers go off. My husband has been watching the morning bathing ritual for several years-. (Might not be the same one- but children of children) - And I made fun of him

Anyways- My Point is- I disagree that you are only now getting immersed in the flow of Life. Your son’s actions upon the Koi’s death, is a result of his parents immersing in his flow of life. We are immersed when we are young, we are immersed when we are bringing up kids, and balancing home and work- only the flow is different.

And @ micro CEO- I would say one thing- Even at the busiest time of your life- there are many ways to stop and smell the roses- Just sit outside for 15 mins and sip your morning tea/ coffee- and leave the electronics inside.

PS: The ringmaster episode is hilarious

Siddhartha and FR fan

Very nicely expressed and enjoyed reading every word and also the comment.
Comment is very nicely expressed and I have read the book Sidhartha. I liked the paragraph where Sidhartha says "I can think; I can wait; I can fast." and I might have read couple of times.

Thanks for sharing,

Shawn M.

Makes me reflect on the my personal flow of life... perhaps the relaxtion and slowing things down a bit would certainly enhance myself in other areas of life... I think I'll do that more often now... The mockingbird song is beautiful, what a gift that little guy has... and for the ceremony of the fish, that was very kind, I'm sure he had a great life reflecting in your backyard... as that salt?

Thanks again


The lesson from this week's FR reminds me of lessons from Clayton Christensen's book "How will you measure your Life". In that he analyzed our life with his famous "disruption from the bottom" innovation theory. We know a number of large companies that have been impacted due to a smaller rival first taking market share on a "not so profitable" business and then going up the food chain. No large company wants to fail, but then this happens. What explains this phenomenon is that drive in the large company to put every ounce of their energy into driving profitability. So, they ignore these small companies in the beginning as distractions they avoid. Finally, they succumb to these rivals.

Similarly, in our personal life we tend to put every available time in our day to "increase our market value" that will drive our income. So, if we have 30 mins available, we choose to work on the "most profitable tasks" which invariably is connected to career. So, the seemingly little things like "relaxing, spending time with spouse/kids" get sacrificed. However, just like the large companies failing due to small competitors, our life gets impacted due to health, family issues which at some point of time looked like "small things".


I am amazed as to how you can still manifest memories of your school principal in your Friday reflection. And I must share this with you, it was your mum who taught me how to listen to birds singing in the early morning!! Really enjoyed reading this

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