A few years ago I did an amazing around-the world study abroad program. While in Vietnam one of my friends got to visit a monastery in Cambodia. He told me a story about something that happened there. The monks asked the students what they wanted in life. Most replied what job they wanted. Some explained how they wanted to captains of industry and wanted to make million. A few explained that they wanted to do something with life and be doctors to help people or go into areas of science where they could create things that would advance society. They all had impressive stories. One student turned the tables and asked the monks what they wanted. One replied that he wanted to do one thing at a time. Another said do less. Yet another said be mindful. There were opposing views on life. The students were a bit shocked and many walked away thinking that the monks were lazy. It was the people like the students who make progress happen!
Later my friend was talking to one of the monks. The monk brought up what happened earlier believing that the students missed the point of the conversation. He talked about simplifying life. That we surround ourselves in so many unnecessary things that we miss out on the day-to-day activities in life. The simple act of eating or bathing. Finding the day-to-day pleasure in life and not in things. And that the monks spend time-serving people in their community. It is a way to stay humble and not life a selfish life not just to have a feather in their cap.
I’ve sat on this story for almost exactly six years. I had no real reason to share this story or use it to make a point about something. The only reason I decided to bring it up here is because it is something that I’ve been reflecting on lately. I’ve been reevaluating things and starting to find myself less attached to my possessions than before. I attribute that to my daughter. My priorities have changed and there are now things that I am more determined to do, but this story had effected how I plan on doing it.
Have you had something like this happen to you? Have you ever met someone or was told something that you had change your prospective?