The tiny infant cuddled in the warmth of the cradle soon becomes a cute toddler who runs after butterflies and rainbows. No sooner do the fairly tales and pranks of school days get over than the carefree lad blossoms into an exquisite youth when the heart leaps up to pluck the stars. The woods are lovely, dark and deep and the dreamy youth plans for the lovely miles he has to tread until the hard facts of life stare him in the face. The stress, storm and strife and manhood transforms him from within and without until one sad day the mirror acquaints him with his ‘Other self’, i.e. ‘grey hair, sunken eyes and trembling hands’ and he shockingly realizes that ‘shadows of the evening steal across the sky’. But Oh: What about the rosy dreams waiting to find expression, the plans left halfway, the promises to be kept, the words of lover never spoken and the aspiration to reach the starts? Seeing the shattered dreams, lost hopes and barren regrets, his heart wails, “Oh: If only I get a second chancel:” But no:: Life is insensitive and does not give us a second chance. We happen to pass through this way but once:
A hurdle race from the womb to the tomb-if we may choose to describe life-compels us to question ourselves, “Have we extracted all the joys, the Maker intended us to, out of life? Time slips out of our hands even before we realize it. How tremulous is the water on the lotus leaf: Such is the life of man-frail and transient. Life is a gift of God-given to us because He loves us and wants us to realize the grandeur of life. But the in this journey of life one has to be always alert to seize opportunities, learn from mistakes and make hay while the sun shines.
The period of youth is the spring time of our life when the mind and body is at its very best. The age from 15 to 25 years is of paramount importance because it lays down the foundation and determines the path of our life. Studies, career choices and job opportunities are hotly-debated issues during this period. It is high time students realise that spending time in noble pursuits will enrich them from within and without while wasting time in ignoble pursuits will impoverish them from within and without.
Money is man’s dearest possession. He will think a thousand times before parting with it. Money can buy almost every material comfort and security which is again an integral part of life. In the same way careful use of time can make our future. It can lead us to the Golden Gate of achievement, satisfaction and progress while misusing time can drag us down to a sad, where life is meaningless. As you saw so shall you reap. How many precious lives and promising careers have been wasted and ruined only because they cared more for the false pleasures of the world and in the process they missed the track that would have led them forward. Perhaps the negative thoughts weakened them mentally and they lost the war even before it began. Bad thoughts cultivate bad habits that lead us to bad places. Acquaint us with bad people constitutes the losers who may win some of the battles in life out of sheer chance but they are bound to lose the war unless they realise the value of time and use it wisely. The other category constitutes the winners who will win the ultimate war even if they lose some of the battles in it.
Their wise investment in good thoughts, good books and good friends pays them rich dividends. Using time wisely will ring out the old and false and ring in new and nobler modes of life. It can lead us to the paradise of excellence and satisfaction as is evident from the lives of great men and women who left their “footprints on the sands of Time’. Be they artists, scientists, sportsmen, businessmen or administrators-they excelled in their chosen fields because they realized the value of time. Procrastination, laziness, sluggishness are terms alien to their hearts. They believe in 100% contentment. Thorns of failure, betrayal and losses pricked them at every turning but they did not lose heart and persevered till they got the coveted crown. They are all geniuses of our times-who have an infinite capacity of taking pains at their task to the exclusion of everything else. They did not court success in a ‘sudden flight’ but were toiling upwards in the night’ hammering on the edges of their abilities, on to the bounds of perfection, breaking and bettering their own records until the world acknowledged them as Masters of their trade: They realized very early in their lives that, “If you waste time, time will waste you; if you honour time, time will honour you.
Some people always complain that they have no time to do the things they always wanted to do. The weariness, the fever and the fret, consume all their time money and energy. You will never get time for doing something, you will have to find time; change your priorities and adjust your schedule. All the dreams and plans can be actualized with proper time management because as Gandhiji said: “The days of miracle are not gone. They will abide so long as God abides”. Trials and tribulations form an integral part of life. It is not help but obstacles, not facilities but difficulties that make men. Men have risen to dizzy heights despite the trials and crosses of life. Even the great Sarojini Naidu said, “Behold: I rise to meet the destined spring and scale the stars upon my broken wings” Jawaharlal Nehru advised his brilliant daughter Indira Priyadarshini in a letter, “The individual has it in him to rise above the caprices of fate …. He can, if he so wills, stands four-square to all the winds of heaven and hell. By doing so, he influences and turns the very fate.
Hence we ordinary mortals must not get disheartened by the problems of everyday life. We must shed the burden of the unfortunate past and work sincerely today if we want to more towards a brighter tomorrow. What matters most is the present moment ‘Now’. The day is always his who works in it with serenity and great aims. Yesterday is only a dream and tomorrow is only a vision but today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope and glory. Let us therefore realize the value of today.
It is not only during exams that we must use our time wisely but throughout life because life is our greatest Test-the Mother of all exams. If only we are a little more cautious and careful in all that we think, see and do, we will have fewer regrets and repentances. Life unfolds itself like a procession in front of us. The innocent child had sublime pleasures and he rejoices in the kind and princesses of the fairy tales while the excited youth seeks for the princess in his real life and lovers the challenge. The adult has more mature commitments while old age looks across the memory lane with tears either of satisfaction or regrets. Each phase of life demands duty and has a charm of its own. The basket is in your hands. Whether to pluck flowers or gather thorns depends on you.