The wisdom of the old, the hopes of the new...

As the new year arrives with fresh hopes and dreams, an interesting question could be: If Father Time could give advice to the New Year, what would it be? The following imaginary dialogue has emerged from such contemplation…

New Year (NY): “If you had to advise the world, what would you say?”

Father Time (FT) (Smiling): “Who am I to give advice? Don’t we all eventually figure out how life works?”

NY: People like lists. Would you please list 5 key points of advice?

FT (after some thought): “The first thing is to remember the principle of action-reaction. Since everything we think, speak and do, has a consequence, pay attention to the quality of thoughts, words and deeds. The second thing is to learn the art of forbearance.”

NY (Interrupting): “Isn’t that the same thing as patience?”

FT (smiling): “No, forbearance is a calm, smiling sort of patience, that allows you to graciously go with the flow of things without whining about your destiny. All of us, without fail, will encounter situations in 2016, where we don’t get what we think we deserve, or where we feel overwhelmed by the demands that life makes.

Forbearance allows us to keep working, with hope in our hearts and a smile on the face. There is no sense of helplessness, only a gracious waiting and acceptance.”

NY: “Easy to understand but difficult to practice.”

FT: “Being happy is an art, and the learning doesn’t happen easily.”

FT: “The third advice is about acceptance – of people, of events, of circumstances, of life itself. This gives us the courage to move away from self-defined formulae of “should be” and helps us discover our own, unique solutions to challenges. We often tend to resist the inevitable, create pre-determined pictures of how life ought to work out, and then make ourselves miserable when things don’t fall into place as per our plans. We need to teach ourselves how to find joy in what we have, rather than keep waiting for something to happen before giving ourselves permission to be happy. Besides, acceptance helps us become less judgmental and far more tolerant about people.”

NY: “And the fourth and fifth things?”

FT: “Be willing to adapt to the times. Don’t fear change. Old ways of thinking can seem comfortable but can be less-than-effective while dealing with the passing seasons of life. The fifth and last bit of advice - you will get what you deserve and at the right time too. Just do your part as well as you can and leave the rest to the universe.”

NY: “Thank you! Let’s hope the citizens of the world keep these in mind for a joyous, fulfilling and very happy 2016!”

Speaking Tree: The wisdom of the old, the hopes of the new..., December 11, 2015

Read more