A Tao story tells us of an artist who was so gifted that his fame spread all over. One day, he painted the picture of a snake. It was so lifelike that viewers seemed to hear it hiss! The artist was so carried away by his own success and the appreciation of his fans that he touched up the snake. He made its eyes glow; he outlined the fangs so that they seemed to dart you! He could not stop; he went on and painted feet on the snake! And he became a laughing stock – the picture of snake lost its glamour just because of adding up the complication. The expression, “Painting feet on a snake”, a Chinese saying, refers to situations that are needlessly made more complicated by people who do not know when and where to stop.
When our life becomes complicated with power and possessions, we move farther and farther away from the simple joys and pleasures of life. We fail to notice morning flowers. We don’t have time to hear birds singing or watch our little ones smiling. We drift away from the state of childlike innocence and simple joy, which is our basic nature. Simplicity is not self-denial. It is a return to those values that matter most in life. It emphasises spontaneity and intuition. It helps us to rediscover the feeling of wonder and joy that we have lost as adults.
There was a wealthy businessman, also a sincere, simple soul. He owned an expensive jet in which he flew about from place to place. His friends asked him if he enjoyed his private pane. His reply was significant. He said it was certainly very convenient; but he had managed to travel without his own plane earlier; in fact, when he was young and poor, the fact that he couldn’t fly did not stop him from being happy. He was really happy at that time. This time, he had to fly as and when there was an opportunity to accomplish something. In this process, he was not able to relax, even when his body required. He had to fly even at the cost of his health. Hence, his possession had then become a liability, yet that was precious.
A famous actress was being interviewed on television. She had made a fortune that year, over a billion dollars. “Does it make you feel good?” she was asked. “Yes and no,” she replied thoughtfully. “Everyone thinks it’s marvellous. So many people flock around me. But I really do not know who my true friends are and who are with me only for the money and the glamour. As for my daily life, it has not changed much, except that I work harder now.” The same break-fast, the same lunch and the same dinner she was enjoying. After becoming a celebrity, she had got additional tension for safeguarding her mounting up treasures and goodwill by working harder and harder making her more restless. It does not mean that you should not work at all. No, you must work but kindly do not let the work overtake your peace of mind.
A group of young men and women were walking across a shopping mall. They were happy and relaxed; they were talking and laughing merrily. Not a care in the world did they seem to have. There was a young girl among them, who happened to glance at the window of a jewellery store which they passed. On display was a beautiful, brilliant diamond bracelet. How it was sparkling and shining! The girl’s eyes opened wide. She went close to the window to inspect the price. She could not afford it. She caught up with her friends but she was not the happy, laughing, bubbly girl that she had been five minutes earlier. Her cheerful, buoyant attitude had been replaced by a mood of glum disappointment. This is the worst part about wanting things. Getting them may give you momentary happiness. But not being able to get them often makes you miserable!
In case you are one such person, how would you afford it? Either, you may have to curtail your wish since you are not able to afford it, or you may borrow some money from some one to get it – you will have to refund the same after some days, or you may do something wrong to get. In such case, you may get yourself in boiling waters. Better, you may wait for the time when you get yourself able to get such thing at your own, without borrowing from some one or without doing anything wrong to get the same. My intention is not to ask you not to dream such things which are beyond your affordability but I mean to say that you must dream and accomplish them with your resources and if you do not have, you must try to develop your resources to deserve the possession of such things.
Be Happy – Accomplish Your Dreams by developing your affordability first.