The Queen of England had passed away of old age and everyone is talking about it. Even my mother called me to inquire about the news she saw on facebook. It seems unreal and hard to believe that someone as prominent as the Queen had died. More importantly, I can sense her recognition of impermanence through our conversation.
Likewise, I am no longer that young chap of yesteryears. I have started a habit to read the obituaries too. But as the news reported stories of the Queen, I couldn’t help but wonder what it was like to live like royalty. All those magnificent jewels, ornate palaces, luxuries, nobility, honor, respect, etc.
I am not sure about you, but suddenly I asked myself what if my life was different? And that self-reflective question has a lot to do with my sense of inadequacies. What would it be like, if I had a rich and lavish life? What if I was of royalty? What if I was born with a golden spoon? How would my life be?
When my thoughts came to this point, I wondered further. If I were of royal birth or from a rich family, would I still be feeling discontentment and asking the same? Perhaps, the” “I” of a privileged birth would be wondering, “What was it like playing truant to hang out with friends at the movies?” “What was it like to wander freely in public with friends or lovers.” “What was it like to play ball together with 20 neighborhood kids under the hot Sun?”
Although there are many material luxuries that I couldn’t afford, I was blessed with many non-material “luxuries” too. Such as running over a bridge during a light drizzle and laughing gayly with someone I madly love. Bringing my folks to a luxurious restaurant with my first paycheck. Staring contentedly at the first ornate light fittings with my younger brother in our first non-rental home. “Running” away from home to be a monk and learning afterward that it made my dad cry. Crying in anguish in a shower when my lover became seriously ill.
If I can replace these memories with another one, one that is of royalty or crazy riches, would I? My answer is no.
I guess each of us will have those special “luxuries” in our life. Those fond memories may mean nothing to others but are so precious to us. Our unique life experiences make us “rich” in our own way. When I came to this conclusion, I am happy and contented with my life because I am contented with the people that are in my life.
May all be well and happy.