A few weeks ago, I was watching an episode of Killing Eve where the assassin, Villanelle was sitting at an outside table with her trainer, Dasha. While Dasha is probably in her 70’s, she’s still highly capable and works in a very dangerous profession where death can come at anytime from anywhere.
As Dasha lit her cigarette, Villanelle said to her, “You know, if you quit smoking, you can look ten years younger.” And Dasha replied, “Why would I want to look ten years younger?”
Our values aren’t exactly someone else’s values. Our profession, circumstances, position, background, and social circles, as well as how we see the world and navigate life is quite different. We often put our values on someone else and think for them from our vision and inside our mind, but through their eyes. We can’t possibly understand on their behalf. Yet we try and often fail, as is the case of the businessman and the fisherman.
A wealthy businessman went on vacation in a fishing town with his family, enjoying everything it had to offer; the feel, the atmosphere, the lifestyle and so on. One evening, the businessman was relaxing on a bench, watching the fishermen come back in from the day and struck up a conversation with one of them. He was intrigued how they seemed so happy every day, so at one point he asked the fisherman, “Don’t you want more out of life?”
The fisherman replied, “Why? I already have everything I need.”
So, the businessman explained how he could improve his business model with the time he wasn’t using. After listening to all he had to say, the fisherman asked, “Why would I do all that?”
The man said, “So you could earn more money.” “What would I do with more money”, the fisherman replied. The businessman told him he could do anything he wanted, once he had enough money. So, then the fisherman asked the man, “What is it that you want to do?”
The man answered, “I want to be at peace, enjoy my family and friends, and fish every now and then.” The fisherman replied, “I already do all that.”
The fisherman is happy and content and enjoys his life. Isn’t that ultimate success? The line, “Don’t you want more out of life”, has me asking … define ‘more’. More burdens, more stress, less time?
The businessman has worked very hard to acquire wealth, so that he can spend some time with his family and enjoy a vacation far away from home. To him, that is success.
Neither could comprehend the other’s life philosophy and approach, and that’s okay. They don’t have to. Sometimes, in our efforts to relate, we miserably miss the mark.
With very limited information and most times a lack of understanding, we can come to such grand conclusions and assumptions about another person’s life or way thereof, finding it necessary to advise them, make sideways comments, or give life suggestions unsolicited!
Human “intelligence” can get in the way of genuine engagement. We think too hard and analyze things that don’t need analyzing. We tend to make something so simple, so unnecessarily complicated.
If we want to look ten years younger and get more out of life, we can start by letting go of challenge, judgement, pretentiousness, jealousy, ego, comparison, or hierarchy, so that we can relax and openly, safely, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
Photo by redcharlie on unsplash