With time, we can achieve success in our studies, career and vocation.
However, we spend a rather limited amount of time doing work and conducting ourselves well.
There are 24 hours in a day. Sleeping takes up 8 hours while roughly another 2 hours are spent on having meals. There are 30 days in a month, out of which about 10 days are spent on sleeping while around 60 hours are spent on eating. Hence, in the course of a year, we spend about 4 months’ worth of time sleeping and “eat away” 720 hours of our life.
If we minus the childhood years and our golden years, where we are no longer able to do much, and also take away our schooling days, (we do not really have much time left). Therefore, the time a person is able to serve the society is merely about a third of his lifetime, regardless of how hardworking he is.
A wise person will treasure time like a diamond, whereas a foolish person will treat time as dirt.”
Hence, if we often feel that life is too hard or uncomfortable and need to rest, then, after subtracting the early years and later years of our lifetime, taking away the time we spend on food and leisure, and wasting time due to our inner afflictions, how much time do we have left?
A wise person will treasure time like a diamond, whereas a foolish person will treat time as dirt. If we can cherish time like a diamond and work hard tirelessly, there will be nothing in this world that we cannot accomplish. If a person is easily distracted, muddle-headed, greedy and lazy in his daily life or keeps thinking about how hard and agonizing his life is during his free time, then he will just be wasting his time away.
Instead of living a long life of 80 or 100 years, "life" is about the period of time where we really make use of our capabilities to work for the greater good. If one is unable to unleash his capabilities and potential while he is alive, then one will be as good as a “living dead person”. If a person lives a very grounded and practical life, and makes full use of his capabilities in life, his virtues (will be remembered) after he passes away. Such a person can be said to be “a man who still lives”.
We are never too old to learn or do something meaningful! Be mindful and awake every moment; even if we are suffering from an illness, we must not waste our lives away in drowsiness and depression.
The meaning and value of life is not measured by its length, but by how much one has contributed to the world. As long as a person fulfills his duties as a human being and finds joy at work, he is living the most grounded, practical, and happy life!
Extracted from “Huan Xi Zi Zai”《欢喜自在》
Translated by the Tzu Chi Singapore translation team