By Alka Chandiramani, CRCE Manager
10 March, 2012
Recently, I visited the city of Pune, India and walked past the rubble of the German Bakery in Koregaon Park. The bomb blast at 7:15 pm on February 13, when the bakery was milling with people, left a 6’ x 4’ hole in the wall. The German Bakery, like Leopold Restaurant in Mumbai, is mentioned in the Lonely Planet tourist guide, and therefore patronized by many backpackers. Among the many victims in the blast were five friends who had gone to the bakery to celebrate a promotion; none of them are alive today.
Another victim, 23-year-old Aditi Jindal, fought for her life for 14 days before succumbing to her injuries. A close friend said, “It is a very sad moment and it is difficult to believe that she is not with us anymore. The feelings just cannot be expressed in words. We were optimistic that she would recover.” Who could have imagined that this would happen in such a tranquil city, in a place where most of the people were young college students and tourists? We rationalize our actions (or inaction) and end up spending most of our time and energy instead, on things that aren’t all that important. I often wonder, when listening to news like this, if the people who passed away remembered to tell their family how much they loved them; if they had an opportunity to live their dreams?
Perhaps the only thing that is certain is that they still had aspirations and unfulfilled ambitions. Sadly, most of us think we will live forever and take our time here for granted. We postpone things that we would like to do, never setting aside the time necessary to accomplish them. We rationalize our actions (or inaction) and end up spending most of our time and energy instead, on things that aren’t all that important.
Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, clearly puts it into perspective, “When you ‘don’t sweat the small stuff,’ your life won’t be perfect, but you will learn to accept what life has to offer with far less resistance.” As Zen philosophy teaches, when you learn to ‘let go’ of problems instead of resisting them, your life will begin to flow. You will, as the serenity prayer suggests, “change the things that can be changed, accept those that cannot, and have the wisdom to know the difference.” To get an immediate and accurate perspective on what’s really important to you right now, author Stephen Levine asks, “If you had an hour to live and could make just one phone call, to whom would it be, what would you say, and why are you waiting? It is never too late to become what you might have been.” Life is fragile and we should try to cherish every opportunity as it comes, for tomorrow is promised to no one.