Can you live with it?


Train journeys have become my routine. Once a month I travel from Chennai to Tirunelveli, a 12-hour overnight journey. No matter how uncomfortable they can become at times, I would always prefer trains to buses. What do I say? Love is blind. 😉 Or should I say, love is long suffering. 😀

I embarked on one such uncomfortable journey a few days ago, where I had to share a single berth with a co-passenger due to non-confirmation of tickets. It isn’t much of a big deal, except that both of us will end up waking up tired with the space constraints and awkward sleeping positions. But if we are lucky enough, some berths may clear up along the journey as people get down at intermediate stations and we’d finally get to stretch. Unfortunately for us, berths cleared up only as we almost neared the destination. But something is better than nothing, eh? So we gathered our belongings and made a move. I was just moving to a different compartment in the same coach, so I figured my suitcase could stay where it was.

Observing this, an old man asked if I am sure about leaving it there and if there were any valuables at all inside.

“Oh, just clothes.”

“If you were to lose them, can you live with it?”

*awkward silence* “Yeah uncle, I can.”

I mean, I did think about how much the suitcase was worth, if I had any of my favourite clothes inside and all that, but at the end of the day, I could live with losing it.

“Well then, you have nothing to worry about.”

Ha! Random stranger offers me words of wisdom. If I can probably live with losing something or not getting something, then there’s actually no point worrying about it. This can be my material possessions, my job, my friends, just about anything.

This really doesn’t mean I can go about being careless about every other thing of mine. But if there isn’t something I can do in my power to safeguard it, then I might as well give up worrying.

If I were to lose the most precious thing I ever had it would break my heart, but I can live with it. If I were to be judged several times by strangers, well I could live with it. If I were to be judged by friends and family? Ouch, yet I can live with it. If I don’t get the attention I sometimes yearn for from dear ones? They have their own struggles, so I can live with it. Strained relationships? I need to get myself together first and try my best to fix it, but at the end of the day, if it still doesn’t work out, I should accept it and live with it. If I were to face issues at work, I should try my best to deal with them or look forward to what I can do, but still it’s just a job and not life itself and so I can live with it. Aging? Lol, I have to live with it! Worrying about any of this is just pointless or more subtly, fruitless.

But, there are some things probably you and I cannot live with. Hurting someone you love with quick words. Doing that one act of selfishness when you could have just been considerate. Saying things you will regret later. Doing something impulse driven. Going to bed angry. Giving up eternal joys for temporary pleasures. Trading heaven for the world. Now these, these are the very things I cannot live with. And probably the only things I should be concerned about.

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