“All wonders you seek are within yourself.” Sir Thomas Browne
While waiting to pick up my niece after her school annual day rehearsal, one couldn’t help but notice the expressions around. From interest, excitement, mischief, happy and joyful expressions on the young faces to the harried and busy expression of the teachers and the benevolent expression of the few parents and grandparents who had come to see the rehearsal. All in all, it was similar to capturing the various stages of life in one glance. The curiosity and excitement of the young to the business of the adult world and finally, the quiet serenity of the elder.
“I’ve come to realize that life is neither a battle nor a game to be won, it is a game nonetheless, but to be played… enjoyed. There are neither winners nor losers… just players–and what’s great is that you can choose who to play with.” Val Uchendu
Being there at the rehearsal, what came to mind was Shakespeare’s famous “All the world’s a stage” and each one of is a player. As a player one has the fun and experience of each stage, with losses and gains at those respective stages. At times, the good may outweigh the bad experience and vice versa. Yet learning to let each experience rest at it’s own phase is most important. Learn from them but don’t brood or harbour the bad incessantly. For instance, each one of us may had the “bad or to avoid friend” of school days who one was initially familiar with but then the comradeship got lost gradually, may be it was a simple misunderstanding, personal differences or just lack of time, distance or other aspects of life.
What happens when one meets the same person twenty years later? Will it be casual re-acquaintance, mutual indifference, friendly greeting or patch up resolving with a genuine “keep in touch” or just a warm meeting with hidden goodbyes ?
Like the above instance, there may be many experience when similar feelings of regret, anger, indifference, sadness, despair or quiet depression that may settle in. What ever it may be. Let the past stay in the past. Learn from it but don’t carry the baggage of emotions with every encounter. Move on, for there are many more experiences in life awaiting for each one of us.
“Life is a puzzle, a riddle, a test, a mystery, a game—whatever challenge you wish to compare it to. Just remember, you’re not the only participant; no one person holds all the answers, the pieces, or the cards. The trick to success in this life is to accumulate teammates and not opponents.” Richelle E. Goodrich
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
– “All the world’s a stage” is the phrase that begins a monologue from William Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy As You Like It, spoken by the melancholy Jaques in Act II Scene VII Line 138.