EACH day, we’re writing our life’s story, whether we know it or not.
Each day, we live out a part of our story and, most importantly, it is etched on the tablet of our life’s narrative for ever. It cannot be changed or rewritten.
Daily, we begin a new page in the story of our life. The secret is to be sure, in the words of Longfellow, that “each tomorrow finds us farther than today”. As we compile those pages, at each stage of our life, we should strive to make it the best chapter yet.
Whatever place and responsibility we have in life — at home, at school, in the family, community, workplace or nation — we should act with honour and dedication. And, equally, it is incumbent upon us to serve others, without bias, so that they can meet their needs and aspirations to better their lives.
Our life’s story should not be about how much we hoard for ourselves but how much we help others, not how we waste our efforts and energies on criticising and condemning others but the compassion we show them and not how popular we make ourselves to be but how much people can trust and depend on us.
Life is full of heroism. When we or others suffer setbacks, distress or disasters, we should rise to the occasion. The courage we show in overcoming our reversals and the care we extend to those in need should not be for extolling us but done with humility. These are what truly inspire others to act with fortitude.
True success in life is carving a specific, honest and challenging path for ourselves, endeavouring to expand our knowledge and hone our skills, seeking to learn something new — one’s never too old to learn — and, above all, being happy with the course we are treading.
Will we encounter difficulties, discouragement, even face despair? Of course, and we need to be prepared for the worst. But, let that not be due to our own frivolous lifestyle, hoping we’ll somehow overcome any adverse consequences — mostly, we don’t, often having to pay dearly for our reckless living.
But, when we sincerely endeavour to do our very best at all times, “with a heart for any fate… and God o’erhead”, suffering can be a valuable experience that lends sensitivity and insight to reinforce our resolve in pursuing our goals even harder and launch us on the road to success.
Finally, our life’s story must be one of appreciation. The smallest, simplest of what we have is something we own and must value. Even the modest occupation we might have is a real possession we must engage in with zeal. Those we love and who love us — few, perhaps even one, with unadulterated love — are worth our undivided affection.
We’ve, in fact, written our life’s story up to the present. More important chapters remain. We’ll never know how many. But, let’s not conclude it wastefully. Let’s make sure each moment and each day counts. Rueben Dudley, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. NST Letters 4 AUGUST 2014 @ 8:03 AM