“Ithaca” – an Imaginary Destination of Life

“How I wish I had a million dollars!” 

“How I wish I had my own beach mansion!” 

“How I wish I were the CEO of the company I work for!” 

“How I wish I had my own sports car!”

“How I wish I could buy a private jet for myself!”

Well, so what if you had a million dollars? So what if you could have all your above dreams fulfilled? What difference would it make to you and to the world? Would you stop wanting for more once you have achieved your goals? When you make your first million dollars, after a  brief moment of happiness and pride due to a sense of achievement, what you would do would be to set your next goal at ten million. It will go on. That’s what normal people do. 

Great achievers, in fact, set goals that they are well aware they can never achieve in their lives. It is because such goals will keep them busy, on their toes, and ever motivated. 

Those who have lived lives that are full, who have rolled in money and have also seen broke days, have experienced dualities such as pain and pleasure, great ups and massive downs, grand successes and huge failures, great friends and horrible betrayers, have been fit as a fiddle and yet ill at times, or have been at the heights of power and have also been through unceremonious ousters; are the ones who can rise above all dualities, and treat equally all situations as great learning opportunities.

‘Ithaca’ is a poem written by Greek poet Constantine P. Cavafy, and translated into English by  Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. It is a poem that I first came across some three decades ago, at a time when I had not yet really set off on the main leg of my grand voyage through life. 

Looking back now, I can relate to almost every word in the poem, which strengthens my conviction that Life is indeed the Greatest Gift. Everything and everyone in it is a great learning experience. However, attachment to any of those fleeting experiences can only stall the journey towards your ‘Ithaca’, which is where, you are destined to arrive as a complete, wise, learned, well-experienced, kind, compassionate, grateful, and responsible human being.

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Life is a gift - Let's live it!

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