Jack (played by Tom Hanks) in the movie “Cast Away” was lost for four years on a deserted island, all alone facing death and losing hope of survival in every minute he spent there. What kept Jack going and helped him survive, was the thought of his loved one, Kelly, waiting for him still, or more accurately, the possibility that she is still waiting. This thought was his string of hope to a better tomorrow and that someday he might, just might, see her again, which in turn ignited this survival mode. He was then rescued and finally went home, but only to find that life moved on as everyone thought he was dead and therefore everyone moved on with their lives. Even Kelly moved on and got remarried, and he was really hurt and sad that lose her again, only this time it is for real.
Life does move on. If we exclude the dramatic devastation that Jack went through in his four years all alone on that island and the fact that not being with her for all this time was not a choice he had, the simple truth is that people do move on, and that is just life.
Some of us relocate for schooling or work, and as we go off for a few years, regardless of how long or short that might be, the loved ones whom we left behind will adjust to fill the voids we left and just get on with their lives. That does not mean they no longer love us, it only means that they did a very basic instinctive reaction that all humans do towards any change that occurs in their lives, they adapted. We need to always be aware of that, and know what we are letting go and for which priority, as it is all about our priorities in life. No matter what the reasons were, external or internal, its ultimately your own decision and responsibility of what happens with your life.
On another note, still relevant to the idea of being physically and emotionally disconnected from your daily world, yet not so relevant to the idea of permanently relocating. I spent the last weekend (around 48 hrs) in total isolation from my world, with no network connection (no phone, no emails or social media), while being on a hiking trip in the outdoors of Salalah in Oman. I went off to this trip with another 17 strangers whom I never met before (well, except for two people) and we had to work together as friends and as a team, which turned out to be one of the best things I have done in a while. The idea of trying something totally new with zero connection to your daily life or the world as you know it, in pursuit to explore new heights and experience new ways of life, is just fulfilling and enriching in ways I did not know existed. Of course with the rule of six degrees of separation, it turns out somehow we are all somehow connected through a mutual friend or colleague or more. As one of our guides said, such trips always brings the best in people, and that was really spot on, as the upbeat energy, the positive attitude and high spirit everyone had was just amazing, and made it a fun and joyful trip for all of us.
The trip was also an eye opener for all of us on the harsh reality of the world toward many of our fellow humans, who live their lives on the go and by force, i.e. the refugees for instance. We have lots of blessings in our lives today that we take for granted, simply because we grew up having them without a care in the world. Until you go on such a trip, and you find yourself not able to take a shower for a full day, let alone several days or weeks, or carrying a good 20kg-40kg on your back for hours, or even having to find a private spot to answer the call of nature, since your lovely toilet is not there with you. The truth is we need to be more self-aware of the blessings we take for granted and be more appreciative to all what we have, and all of those who help us (i.e. our maids, drivers, workers etc.) because the truth is, no one knows if we will always have those blessings. Just open your eye a little wider today and pay attention to every beautiful thing you have that you did not notice yesterday, and thank God for all his blessings that millions of other people can only dream of.
In short, life does go on, with you or without you, and before you know it, it will be over, so make sure you live the life you want and make it worth it.
Food for Thought
- Always be grateful for the simple things in life, that’s your source of happiness
- Never be too proud to pay credit where its due, and always say thank you to those who earned it
- Life is too short to live from the side bench only
- The worst day in your life is the day you look back and wish you have done something only to realize its already too late.