Saturday, January 29, 2011

a pencil, a crayon, and a life

i was browsing over some books inside the mall's bookstore when i overheard this conversation between a young mom and her grade school son.

"why are you holding that box of crayons and those pencils?" the young mother asked.

 "i need to buy new ones, mom, my old crayons and pencils are getting shorter." the son answered.

 "oh no,you won't." quipped the mother as she snatched the box of crayons and the pencils from her son.

 "but they're short now, they're like already this long." pleaded the son as he held up his right hand, the space between  his forefinger and thumb indicating the length of his crayons. his eyes darted longingly at the box of crayons his mom is putting back to the shelf.

 "i've seen them. they're still long enough," explained the mother, "you must know how to maximize the use of your school stuff.. we cannot just throw them away just because you think they're short!".  the young one pouted his lips and ran towards the section where the children's books are. the mom threw a sharp stare at his direction.

a memory flashed through my mind as i watched them. it was so long way back, when i  was a kid myself. it was when i was living with my grandmother in the province. that was the instance when i broke one of the crayons i was playing with. i was in the act of throwing them away when she stopped me.

"you don't just throw things away, even if they're short, or broken," she told me, "someone might still find use with them. or help you fix them, so you can use them again."  she said this as she took the two halves of the crayon from me. she looked at them and gently peeled the paper wrapping from one end of the crayon to expose again a good portion of it. then with a knife she shaped the tip towards a conical form much like new ones. "there, see, you can use it  again." she boasted. i smiled thankfully at her.

then she also looked at my pencils and sharpened them. "the more things get shorter, the more value you have to place on them. a pencil does not lose it's utility just because it is already short. you just have to be more careful in using them and also learn to adapt so you can still maximize your use of them. remember this, because we cannot just keep on buying new ones."

as i stood there in that bookstore, it is just now that i fully understood this. i reflected this wisdom from my grandmother against the life i am living. like a pencil, and a crayon,  my life is getting shorter too. and just because it is getting shorter, i need not just throw it away. nope.

now that it is shorter, i must value it more. live it better. so that, others might find value in it as well. or so that others might help me fix it, that i can live it better.
the Sages had already taught how to get it fixed and be lived better.

recognize the Divinity within. and, with the remaining time, allow this Divinity to full flowering.

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