By Leo Tolstoy
Once an old man and a young man were sitting on the shore of a wild and stormy river.
“Master,” the student asked, “why does the time flow straight, but always ripples, either slowing down to a complete stop, or racing like a cow with a thistle under her tail?”
The teacher looked at the seething water and answered:
“You see there are a few large stones in the river and a lot of small pebbles. Imagine that the river is your life. If you will only rejoice over big occasions – like your wedding that will happen next month, or like a new baby that you will have after one year, or new business that you will start after five years… – then you will cross your life in a few jumps, like jumping from one stone to another.
Otherwise, if you will move in small paces over the pebbles, taking joy in small things: a sunny day, the beauty of autumn forest, a good conversation, then later looking back at your life you won’t see ten big stones, but lots of your own traces, and each of them you will be able to remember with a happy smile.
And you will see that the road that you have crossed is much longer.”
“But teacher, when I love or when I do the work that I like or when I have a talk with friends – the time flies fast. But the time drags so long when I’m hurt, when I’m afraid or when I feel lonely.”
“You see,” the old man answered wistfully, “this is what it should be. When we are unhappy, we don’t live but we only exist, so the time lies still in our wallets.
And only for our happiness we pay the ringing coin of time, that we still have left.”