Over the past few months, I’ve had the fortune of travelling in three different countries. While most of my commute during the travel was on my bicycle, I also had the chance to use other modes of transport. I’ve loaded up my bicycle on trains, boats, buses and aeroplanes a few times over.
While using these other modes of transport, I’ve had the chance to observe my fellow travellers.
One thing that I found to be common among all travellers, regardless of their nationality or economic background is the humble lock they all put on their luggage.
It could be a number combination padlock, a tiny lock with a key, an airplane baggage lock tag or even just two zippers secured with a nylon string.
It does not matter if it is a high end briefcase or a tattered backpack, the owners prize the contents inside their bags equally.
For a poor woman travelling back to her village in a bus with her infant children,
The few hundred rupees she’s hidden in her bag and the measly ration of milk for the children to last on the ride is worth securing with a little lock.
To an executive travelling business class, whose briefcase is a thousand times more expensive than everything the village lady has ever owned, the bag mandates even getting a travel insurance!
But once we think beyond the monetary value of the bag and its contents, and think about the absolute value each human being attributes to their belongings,
Is the tattered bag of the village lady any less valuable than the executive’s briefcase?
Extrapolating further, think about the infants in tow of the village lady and the little children of the businessman waiting for him back home.
Is the life of one child more precious than another? Granted they have separate realities of life and in comparison have a completely different future ahead of them.
Yet, they both mean the world to either parent, don’t they?
We are all born with different privileges.
But some things are tendered equally to one and all.
We all have the ability to love,
The ability to be of help,
The ability to smile,
The ability to bring a life on earth…
All of the perceived unfairness of life is mitigated by the solemn realisation of these inherent gifts we are all have the liberty to partake.
The most precious of gifts can never be locked and secured.
It is the gift of life,
The time we have on earth.
A person who doesn’t know how to read the time on the clock is in fact, as rich as a person wearing an expensive watch when it comes to the time he has on the earth.
Perhaps the moment we start to live life with this realisation, in each living moment,
Each living soul will feel equally rich.
As the gift of existence,
Of time on earth,
Enables democracy over happiness to each living soul.
One of my favourite authors wrote a masterpiece of a novel when he was in Jail. Even the locks of the prison chamber had no power over the gift of existence he utilised to create a work of sublime art.
He used his freedom over time even in incarceration to add meaning to his life.
Time is the yarn we are all gifted by life,
And at each moment we are alive,
We are weaving our story,
In the tapestry of existence.
Let’s realise this gift,
And live a life full of purpose and meaning.