I counted in seconds as the clock tick away. It was the end of the day’s work. A time to leave my monotonous routine until the next day. I hurriedly logged myself out, making sure I did not leave anything behind, I scanned through my workstation and dashed out of the office while saying the usual “See you in the morning”.
I half-walked, half-ran to the car. It takes 10 minutes to walk to where I parked my battered car and another 10 minutes to drive to my child’s school before finally heading home where more chores are waiting. This is my life.
However, on this day as I walked to my car, I noticed an old man about 6 foot tall, probably in his 80 ahead of me. In no time at all, I caught up with him. Something came to mind as I glanced back at him. He was in no rush to catch up with me.
I noticed the struggle he faced as he slowly moved one step after another. Tales of the years he outlived all written on his face, his shoulder bent and his skin wrinkled. He was tired and withdrawn.
I tried to imagine who this man was in his younger years. He had the physique of an athlete, in later years. I tried to imagine his home life, his lifestyle, how he had lived his youth, his friends, family and whether he had children or not.
I was lost in thought, my mind had a race. The reality of life actually dawned on me. We are born to live and die. In this process of living, we met people and lost some. Some people leave permanent marks in our lives while some people left none.
My mind flashed through my childhood and back to the present moment. I have been living on planet earth for more than 4 decades. Four decades and two years to be precise. And I asked myself “Where did the time go?”. “When did I get here and what lies ahead of me?”.
Just like the old man I walked past, the space between my pace shortened as I reached for my car keys. I suddenly became very tired. I had walked away from the old man I left behind, but, he left me worried. Worried about the true meaning of this world. The purpose of our existence.
I drove in silence through the traffic. I wondered what goes on in each driver’s thought. I wondered. I wondered if I am living a life worthy of praise. I wondered if I am a show-off or a brag. I wondered if I have truly justified my existence on earth. I wondered if I worth every breath I am taking. I wondered if I am a liar or a cheat. I wondered if I have been a pain in people’s neck or a pleasure.
I remembered people in my life. The people I have lost. The people I am rearing. I wondered what people really think of me. The real me.
As I picked up my child from school that day, I felt a tinge of emotion washed over me. How does this child see me? What would people say about me?
The crawling old man really did my heading and it all happened in my thought.