The rich industrialist from the North was horrified to find the Southern fisherman lying lazily beside his boat, smoking a pipe.
'Why aren't you out fishing?' said the industrialist.
'Because i have caught enough fish for the day, ' said the fisherman.
'Why don't you catch some more?'
'What would I do with it?'
'You could earn some money' was the reply.
'With that you could have a motor fixed to your boat and go into deeper waters and catch more fish. Then you would make enough money to buy nylon nets. These would bring you more fish and more money. Soon you would have enough money to own two boats...maybe even a fleet of boats. Then you would be a rich man like me.'
'What would I do then?'
'Then you could really enjoy life.'
'What do you think I am doing right now?' --- Antony de Mello
How many of us are like this rich industrialist? we chase after money and affluence in order to be happy, but never realize that happiness is like a beautiful butterfly that will alight on you once you stop chasing the transitory around!
We live in an extremely busy world. The speed with which we run around is ever accelerating. But what is the reason that we are so preoccupied? What are we actually doing? Well we on this planet are chasing behind four major objectives:
Firstly it is MONEY or fortune that drives us around. Our world thrives on materialism. Consumerism dominates us and this is fostered by the media which entraps us in the web of a powerful consumerist culture. The verbal and non verbal messages we receive today, the body language and the sound of silence so to say is that economic well being is the most important and this condition must be acquired by all means, or so to say by whatever means! Yes the craving after money is an addiction that can be really harmful. It is one big time destroyer of peace and tranquility.
The next addiction that plagues the human race is FAME and popularity. We love to impress people we do not like by buying things we actually do not need!! Fame is the intense desire to be liked and enamored by the world around. The Bible frankly states that people of long ago nor people yet to come will be remembered ( Ecclesiastes 2:1). What is the use of wasting money building graves and maintaining them? What is the use of erecting statues of people - this is only wasting the tax money of the citizens of the country. If people are remembered, they must be for the good they do, not because they are buried in the most expensive, modern and well constructed grave in the most expensive graveyard or because their statues dot the sky line of a city! At this point I am reminded of Lord Byron who wrote:
"My days are in the yellow leaf:
The flowers,the fruit of love are gone:
The worm, the canker and the grief
are mine alone."
POWER is another addiction. The craving behind power is the desire to possess the capacity to control others and manipulate and exploit them. If you become a leader without chasing behind power it is healthy, otherwise it is not.Manipulating others just because you can lord over them is nothing but selfishness. Yes 'power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely'- Lord Acton. The person who is in love with power normally struts around with this mantra in his or her head 'look at me, look at me, every one look at me!!' They love to be the cynosure everywhere, but deep inside are lonely and sad. They may have the outer garb of happiness, laugh aloud and have 'friends' around them but all along will be aware that deep down - really deep down they are living a life of sham and pretense.
The last addiction is the craze behind PLEASURE. People love pleasure, and this then creates the addiction for money. If you enjoy it then do it - is the norm of the peasure seeker. Dont ever worry about the other! Rapists, molestors of women seek such lust filled pleasure and never think about the trauma their actions cause in the person of the surviving victims and their families.
"Pleasures are like poppies spread:
You seize the flower , the bloom is shed;
Or like a snowfall in the river,
a moment white-then melts for ever;
Or like the borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow's lovely form,
Evanescing amid the storm"-- Robert Burns
Finally looking at the four addictions it is clear that the four are interwoven into an intricate fabric! one giving 'hue' and 'colour' to the other! Let us not ever get embroiled into weaving such a fabric in our lives!
~~~ Crystal David John