This story was Whatsapped to me about four months ago from a friend and it is only now that I am sharing with you. What took me so long? I have thought of saving it up for another days and have since stored in the ‘Draft’ folder until I revisit it today. A few days back, similar thought of shelving something came to me but I brushed away the thought instead. Our time is limited and if it so happen to end that day, at least I didn’t miss the chance to share something which might benefit others. Live life to the fullest with no regrets!
This story was originally in Mandarin. I translated it into English, with a little help from Google translate, so that I can share with you the essence of it, which has benefited me. I hope that you too, will benefit from it.
Two patients, ‘A’ and ‘B’, were admitted at the same time into the same ward, both having the same discomfort in the nose. While waiting for the test report to come back, ‘A’ said, “If it is cancerous, I’ll set off immediately to travel around the world; first stop will be Lhasa, prefecture-level city in Tibet.”
‘B’ expressed the same sentiment. Results were out: ‘A’ has nasal cancer, ‘B’ has only paranasal sinuses.
‘A’ made a bucket list, and then left the hospital, ‘B’ stayed back in the hospital for treatment. ‘A’ list was: take a trip to Lhasa; take a boat ride from Panzhihua (a prefecture-level city located in the far south of Sichuan province), having a name of a flower, until the Yangtze Delta; spend one winter in Harbin (the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang province in China’s northeast region); step foot in the Tiananmen Square, or Gate of Heavenly Peace (a famous monument in Beijing), read all the works of William Shakespeare; write a book. All in all 27 of them.
He wrote this at the back of his bucket list: I have a lot of dreams in my life, some of which I had realized and some of them I didn’t realize due to various reasons. Now, I am given only a limited time. To leave the world with no regrets, I intend to realise these 27 dreams with my remaining few years.
‘A’ resigned from his work in the company, went to Lhasa. On the Second year, ‘A’ passed the adult exam with amazing perseverance and determination. During this period, he set foot in the Tiananmen Square, went to the big grassland of Inner Mongolia, and even stayed in an herder’s home for a week, and is now realizing his aspiration of publishing a book.
‘B’ read an essay written by ‘A’ one day and called to ask about ‘A’ illness. ‘A’ said: “The sickness has reminded me to do the things I want and to realize my dreams. Now then I truly understand the true meaning of living and life. I guess you must be doing great too.” ‘B’ did not answer. Because his intended trip to Lhasa was put far behind his head after knowing he was not suffering from cancer.
Although only a story, many of us have an incurable cancer and that is death. The reason, we have not written down our bucket list like patient ‘A’ and put aside everything else to fulfill our dreams, is because we lack courage, and thinking that we still have time.
Cherish the mercy that life has bestowed upon us, treat ourselves and others better in this limited time we have. Strives our best to achieve our dreams.
Photo credit: MIKI Yoshihito
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