Look out for shoot­ing stars..!

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION -

A won­dered few years ago I went down to where I’d grown up. I

whether the house was still there; it was but looked dif­fer­ent. “Where’s the pond that used to be out­side?” I asked the new owner af­ter iden­ti­fy­ing my­self. “I broke it down!” he said, “and con­structed my study there!” “Sad!” I mur­mured.

“Sad?” asked the new ten­ant, “I’m able to do a lot of work in that study with­out dis­turb­ing my fam­ily! All the work I don’t fin­ish in the of­fice is fin­ished over here! What did you do when the pond was here?” “Looked up for shoot­ing stars!” I said.

Ac­cord­ing to a Greek leg­end, in an­cient Athens a man no­ticed the great sto­ry­teller Ae­sop play­ing child­ish games with some lit­tle boys. He laughed and jeered at Ae­sop, ask­ing him why he wasted his time in such friv­o­lous ac­tiv­ity.

Ae­sop re­sponded by pick­ing up a bow, loos­en­ing its string, and plac­ing it on the ground. Then he said to the crit­i­cal Athe­nian, “Now, answer the rid­dle, if you can. Tell us what the un­strung bow im­plies.” The man looked at it for sev­eral mo­ments but had no idea what point Ae­sop was try­ing to make. The moral­ist ex­plained, “If you keep a bow al­ways bent, it will break even­tu­ally; but if you let it go slack, it will be more fit for use when you want it.”

So it is with us. Our minds and bodies are like the bow. When con­stantly un­der pres­sures of ev­ery­day life, we can even­tu­ally break. We need to loosen up; we need time to take the pres­sure off and re­lax.

For­mer base­ball pitcher Dutch Leonard might have put it a lit­tle dif­fer­ently. He once said that the se­cret of great pitch­ing is not speed or the abil­ity to throw curves. It’s the “change of pace.” The av­er­age bat­ter will soon learn to hit a pitcher who con­tin­u­ally throws the same kind of pitch. But it’s hard to hit against a pitcher who changes the pace of de­liv­ery. That change of pace gives a pitcher the edge over the best of bat­ters.

A change of pace like­wise gives us an edge in life. Tak­ing time to watch the clouds, en­joy the gen­tle breeze, take a walk, read or just slow down is nec­es­sary if we are to be our best later. And a reg­u­lar day of rest is as im­por­tant as reg­u­lar sleep. It’s a way of tak­ing the pres­sure off.

To be your best, make sure you change your pace. It may just be the change you need. I re­mem­ber wak­ing to where the old pond once stood, I re­mem­ber go­ing back in time. There we all sat around with our legs on it, my fa­thers long ones, my mother’s shapely ones and two lit­tle pairs, be­long­ing to my brother and me. In quiet­ness we watched the dark sky: “There!” shouted ma and we all looked in the di­rec­tion of a streak­ing shoot­ing star and smiled and laughed and made a wish! What fun to be un­strung bows..! — Email:bob­s­ban­ter@gmail.com

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