Once upon a time, the old man was walking along the shore, puffing on his pipe. He was dressed in his usual floral print tee and shorts and was barefoot. He loved the feeling of the soft grainy sand between his toes.
The skies were painted in hues of orange and purple and the sun was getting ready to French kiss the horizon, as was customary at the end of its day!
“Beautiful, isn’t it?”
The old man looked up and smiled. A group of young girls and boys were getting ready to set up the bonfire. They had a few guitars with them and ofcourse, cartons of beer. They gestured for the old man to join them and join them he did.
“Why do people make such a big deal out of life?” asked one of the girls as she sat down beside him. “I mean, look around Sir.. As of now, I am right where I want to be, and happy at that. But back in the city.. everyone is rushed and so pre-occupied. Makes me feel like I’m the one that is laidback! That I haven’t done anything constructive with my time.”
The old man took a gulp of the beer and asked, “What do you mean by constructive?”
“Doing something worthwhile, like work I guess.”
“Constructive is using your time to do something that makes you happy. The greatest lesson that life really gives out is just that – Your breaths are numbered, so there is no point in holding onto angst and frustration coz in the end, it is you yourself that will tire your own breaths out. There was a story about a monk who was meditating in a boat on a serene lake. He was deep in thought when a sound of another boat hitting his, broke his chain of thought. He felt his anger rising and of all the vile things he would say to the person who had carelessly broken into his space. And when he opened his eyes, all he saw was an empty boat that had moored its way towards his. He pent up in anger. He caused agitation to himself for what.. an empty vessel! He could have screamed and yelled at it.. but what would it have done.. risen his own blood pressure!”
“My point. But we are human so it is justified to lose our fuse so to speak.”
“By all means do.. And after you have cooled off, take time out and think.. Emotional intelligence is when you know which emotions to counter and which to walk away from. Not everything requires your opinion or feeling. People are people the world over. They will talk, they will laugh, they will snicker, they will bitch… but if they don’t get a reaction from you.. what do you think its going to do to them..”
“Cause them more frustration..”
“Them, being the key word, my dear. Life is what you and your friends are doing at this point. Listen to the music, and learn to shut out the noise. Only then will the tune and the lyrics draw you in. Life will give you reason to do both, but the one you pick out will determine the way you feel.. Emotional Intelligence! To me, that is a skill to acquire!”
One of the boys began strumming on his guitar and the girl squealed in delight at the familiarity. As the tune of her favourite song began filling in her senses, the old man handed her a fortune cookie and got up.
‘Life is not about making lemonade from lemons.. Its about drinking the damn drink and feeling it.’
The girl laughed and waved her hand, as the old man walked into the sunset, happily ever after.