No shortcuts


If you would not have affliction visit you twice, listen at once to what it teaches. - James Burgh It worried me when the Timekeeper told me to take care of Kim.

When I asked what was the matter with him, Kim (whose name meant GOLD and was the richest man in the regency) only shrugged, mumbled, then finally croaked: "I'm losing my memories…The doctors said I'm fine…I was hoping for a miracle cure…"

Ah. That is why his case was delegated to the lollygagging house bunny. I was supposed to have the patience to put up with this.

"Your memories aren't missing, sir, you just got too much noise in here." (Tap-tap on my temple.) "You need to make space for them to settle, sir."

I picked up a flyer, waved it in front of him, "You're Buddhist, right? So you have more right to this than I do. The meditation course is offered to everyone for free every month. It froze my voice for a year, so I'm pretty sure it will work better than miracles in clearing the voices in your head."


Few weeks later, while hanging out with fellow meditators, I asked them, "Why wouldn't he take my suggestion? Why do the rich always go for the "ridiculous & trendy" rather than the "tried & true but lame"?

And they said, "He isn't called for it yet. He hasn't gathered enough karma."

I rolled my eyes. "So he's supposed to suffer? This thing has been around for centuries! It won't cost him penny or penicillin to sit through meditation and have his wires fixed!"

"It's because happiness/health/freedom is not for free. There are no shortcuts. Kaffarah, redemption and karma are costs that we must pay for rewards, heaven or nirvana."

The thought pissed me off (and later relieved me from so much guilt) for two reasons:

  1. The best suggestions in the world will be the first ones flushed. It is not a personal thing. No matter how smart your ideas are, people need to be broken to bones before they can follow simple orders.
  2. You cannot give your happiness to others. إنك لا تهدي من أحببت You can show it. You can stir curiosity. You can teach the method and direct the path. But you cannot walk the path for anyone.

So there.

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