Not Even Diamonds Are Forever
by Ruby Bayan - 10/29/01
I remember an old story about a king who had a beautiful fountain built in the middle of the castle's garden for all of his subjects to appreciate. Being a kind, just, and benevolent king, he asked his adviser, an old and wise man, to carve a plaque that would be put next to the fountain.
The king wanted the plaque to contain a message that would serve as an "equalizer" to all who read it. He wanted a universal message so that when sad and mournful subjects come to the garden, after reading the words, they will leave with hope and a smile on their faces. And when jubilant and excited ones come by, they will leave feeling melancholy and poignant.
Not long afterwards, the adviser told the king that the plaque was ready. The king read the message and was pleased. It said, "This, too, shall pass."
Life, love, and all the other forces of the universe exist because of change. It's true; the only constant in human existence is change. Not even diamonds are forever -- under certain circumstances, they, too, shall pass.
Today, here in America, and in many other parts of the world, we are experiencing rapid and practically incomprehensible changes in our lives. Our way of life has been drastically affected by the recent tragedies. Many of us are having extreme difficulty coping with the heightened security, the recession, the fear, and the loss.
Even in our normal lives, we encounter countless challenges -- differences at work, arguments with our adolescents, appliances breaking down, sickness, and debt, among others. We are constantly on our toes dealing with one thing if not another.
But none of these challenges ever last a lifetime -- they just seem to, but they really donít. Pretty soon we find ourselves in different jobs, our teenagers grow up to be responsible young adults, everything works like a well-oiled machine, and on a good day we feel like a million bucks, and maybe even literally debt-free.
That's just the way it is -- things change. The cycle continues, and never stops -- in unpredictable waves of good and bad, joy and sadness, success and failure, and feast and famine.
If we can accept this inevitable roller coaster ride and consider it an integral curve in the circle of life, we can console ourselves with the fact that nothing stays the same.
It tells us to appreciate the good things that we have, to cherish the moment, and be thankful for our loved ones, because in a fleeting moment, all of these blessings will go away. But so will all the misfortunes and discomforts that come our way.
So, like the king's subjects who read the plaque of wisdom in the garden, whenever we are sad, let's smile and be hopeful; and whenever we are happy, let's cherish the moment. Because, yes, this, too, shall pass.