A million-dollar question that all of us would have thought about at least once in life! Although thoughts about it used to come, there never was a clear answer ever. However, one of the lectures by someone knowledgeable about Vedas and Puranas seemed to hint an answer. It was an interesting perspective and not about the environment or lifestyle, and it made me wonder about our existence and the purpose behind it. Sharing what I learned thus far…
The lecturer told us the story below.
There were 3 patients who were asked to report to a hospital far away to do some secondary tests for confirming the stage of Cancer. Their location hospital did not seem to have the diagnostics facilities. All three got their reports after waiting the whole day in the waiting room for the results. All three were diagnosed to be the last stage. Each of them asked how many days they have left to live, and they were told that they only had a few weeks left.
The first person went home and shared this with his family and told his spouse and kids that he would be dying soon. He wanted to ensure all the final rites were performed properly and all types of donations were given to people – like donating food, land, clothes, gold, and many more. He told his children that they need to worry about the costs for his final rites, they could use his savings. The family agreed to do so. The individual died in a week, and the grieving family performed his final rites as agreed upon.
The second person went home and shared this with his family and told his spouse and kids that he would be dying soon. He wanted to ensure his family was taken care of, after he passes away. He told his family about all the places he has saved money, his bank account, deposits, savings, etc etc, he shared the details and distributed the assets among them. He felt they will be able to take care of themselves after him. He lived for a year and then died peacefully.
The third person did not go home, but went back to the hospital front desk and enquired about the cost of the cancer diagnostic equipment, and got the numbers. She went to the hospital where they could not provide her with a diagnostics due to lack of equipment and expressed interest to donate money from her savings towards it. She also consented to talk to a few investors and partners to raise funds for the diagnostic equipment. Slowly, it became an initiative and she started getting invitations to forums to speak and create awareness about cancer, importance of diagnostic equipment and how the fundraisers are helping patients with the lab and research as well. She did not go back home disappointed that day. She felt she could convert what happened to her as an opportunity to help others, and invested her time and effort to help others in need. She had found a purpose to live, that was beyond her individual needs or her family needs. She lived for 14 more years before she passed away. The blessings of so many people and their families that she had helped, impacted their lives and saved – had helped her live longer!
That day I realized that life was worth living when we have a purpose larger than ourselves. When we strive for a larger purpose and not be selfish to take care of just our / family needs, life gives us a chance to live longer.. to help fulfill our dreams 🙂 Think about all the world leaders, your role models and their health issues, what did they do differently… and how long they lived… it made sense!
PS: These families quoted above were from Europe according to the lecturer.