Posts Tagged ‘history’

Living Two Lives

            Past and future – these are times in life that people often dwell upon. We may want to relive some days in our life where they were most memorable and precious, those days we most cherish. We may regret some things we’ve done or those things we failed to do and wish to rectify our mistakes. For what’s to come, we could be anticipating tomorrow, ask ourselves what it looks like or wish to know what lies ahead. Optimism of the future could be towering over our minds and we dream and dream, fantasizing the reality of our aspirations. These two lives make a significant influence in us, so does it make to an aged man who looks behind his past and a young lad who looks forward to his future.
The man looks about forty years old, tall, fine-looking yet waning youth is slightly revealing from the curved lines that depresses in his forehead. He wears a grumpy look to complement his tux while approaching a playground that is familiar to his childhood. He watches over a group of kids playing cheerfully and paying no heed to his presence. One boy, being aware, looked over him. The boy’s jovial and youthful appearance reminded him of his early days when he seemed as euphoric as he was. Reflecting over his past, he realizes how much things there are that he wishes to do before sets down soon. But alas, he doesn’t have the time now. Before long, he’s going to die of a disease he acquired from overwork. In the eyes of other people, he’s a successful and accomplished man. But to himself, he’s a miserable man who only possesses wealth but not happiness. He has spent his years in work saving up for fortune he’ll all be losing in no time. He has invested his efforts and time for nothing. There are still a lot more he wants to do but right now, he’s only up for preparing a bucket list and the more he thinks about it, the more remorseful he feels. What’s worse, he is envious of a kid who has a lot more years to live and enjoy. He could have had a wife and a son. He could have fed a poor old woman or have shown charity as a legacy to other people. He could have pursued his dream of traveling around the world and see different cultures. But what he is soon to see is painful death of failures.
As the man looks over the boy, the young lad looks up to him with admiration. He is thin and has rough hands, marked by hard work yet he wears a blissful smile. He has dark brown eyes and thick eyebrows that ironically give a friendly look. As he gapes over the man, he tries to judge his character and came up with a little surmise. A businessman, he deems. He hopes to someday be like him. Over his mind, he thinks he’s just a poor boy with no riches to buy all the things he wants. The only thing he could afford is to play on a free park with children who wish the same toys he has always wanted. He wonders about his future. He asks himself questions out from his curiosity. Will I get rich, too, and be able to buy anything and everything? Will I also wear a neat and elegant suit just like what he has? Will I be tall and appealing as he seems? These questions are unanswerable to him but he was confident of what’s awaiting him. His great expectations give him an overwhelming feeling and a foremost feeling of eagerness to be one day, be the man set as an example before his eyes.
Forty years later, in the same old place, a tall aged man with dark eyes and thick eyebrows ambles towards the same spot where he used to play and gawks over it. The difference now from the man forty years ago to this present man is that the latter wears a smile to complement his tux. He is now the successful man he wished to be. He turned to the spot where he found the man in the past. His smile turned to little chuckles and into outbursts of laughs. He found it funny at the same time bizarre. Then a poignant look looms over his face. He realized that this must have been what the grumpy man has been feeling at the time he met him. He understood it quite well that they have met the same fate.
Life can sometimes encompass a paradox. While an old rich man covets for the young lad’ youth, the latter desires for the maturity and wealth of the former. One yearns to bring the past back, the other longs for the future he fancies. And while we are busy pondering about these, we miss what’s relatively important. That’s the common mistake they made. They both forgot the period between the past and future. They both forgot to dwell on the present.

~just a composition for another requirement in English.

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