Lights and shades of life

Grey skyWater is pouring in a small human-constructed fountain in the middle of a square I traverse to go home. It feels relaxing to hear the clash of the water with the base; some water drops splash over the floor. The sun is hidden, the sky is grey, but the water is clear and energetic.

People say eyes are the door to our soul, but I think eyes are also the doors through which our soul nourishes itself. There are things we ought to see, like the water fountain on the street.

Sometimes it is easier to notice that the sky is grey, and that all is depressing, but if one were to look around, one would see the water flowing calmly following the laws of nature and the little white flowers that are growing on the paths of the streets.

My father, who is one of the most famous people in Bolivia, at least inside our family, often said that it is a Chinese thing to not think in extremes, to prefer moderation and to not see things in absolute. That reminds me of the Yin-Yang graph (with which people often confuse me). Where there is good, there is evil; and where is evil is also good.

I like to interpret it as: It’s never too bad nor too good.

Light and shade

Have you seen that shade? Not 50 Shades of Grey, but the shade that seems to darken the world; as if the sun has put on a veil. But there is always light; for there can be no shade without light. So is life. Sometimes we live in shades, but we know somewhere must be light. The darker the environment, the more hope we have that the day will the over and a new one will begin.

A phrase the previous Clueda CEO once said and remained with me was that “when all is bad enough and everything is in the bottom; then what happens? Things can only go up.”

The day has darkened again, but if we recalled what our eyes had seen some ours before, the day had been bright. The day that will come will probably be even brighter. A situation is never too bad nor too good. Light and shade are just the two faces of the same coin.

Virtues and weaknesses

There are two kinds of people: people who are great and people who are not great; but both of them have virtues and weaknesses. In some circumstances, a character turns out to be a virtue, and in others a strong weakness.

Impatience, for example, can be a strength that pushes you to accomplish things quickly; but it can also be a terrible thing when you are waiting for someone else to do something. Perhaps one should only be impatient with oneself.

Pro-activeness, for example, can be valuable to start new projects; but it might give the erroneous impression of being too ambitious, too arrogant or too pushy. Perhaps one should only be proactive when one is surrounded with other proactive people.

It is easy to fall into single classifications and single sided self-evaluations, but in fact, we are never useless and never perfect. People and yes, we ourselves, are never too bad nor too good. Virtues and weaknesses are two faces of the same coin.

A terrible thing is to live half and see only the dark sky, being blind to the water fountain in which the element of life flows regardless of the circumstances. Sometimes we need to exercise our eyes, stop staring at the case on hand and see beyond what is presented right in front of us.

We can open our eyes, expand our mind and broaden our heart. That is perhaps our daily job. This reminds me of the story of the black ink: If a drop of black ink falls into a cup of water, it will turn black instantaneously; if a drop of black ink falls into the ocean, it gets lost and drifts away.

One day perhaps we can all be oceans; always sustain hope whatever happens to us. In the meanwhile, we shall keep on learning; keep on trying and keep on opening our eyes: to not miss the clear water fountain in the middle of a cloudy evening.