Saturday, October 17, 2015

Hope and Happiness Go Hand in Hand

Hold On - Pain Ends

Day in day out he is told what on idiot he is. All his friends and competitors are sailing, while his portfolio is trailing big. He found out the hard way which client purchased his portfolio because of his style, and which clients purchased it because his performance had been so spectacular 2 years ago. The fair weather friends fired him in a heart-beat. He hung tough to his style though, because that's what he promised to his clients when they bought his fund. But boy did it hurt! He used all his will power just to walk upright at work. When he came home at night he was a zombie. He only pretended to engage with his son after dinner, but he was simply on auto-pilot. Even though he spent time with him, even reading a good-night story, all he could do was to revisit his investment case in his head - what to buy and what to sell. Perhaps not surprisingly, that evening he read the bed-time story just like a robot would. 

Meanwhile in a small country, far-away, little girls are performing a violin performance in front of foreign visitors. They have been drilled for months for this performance. They wear beautiful dresses and look so professional with their violins. This performance could have been done in Austria or New York, so good was it. What was more, all of the girls were smiling with a synchronicity and sparkle that it almost seemed real, if it wasn't for their eyes. Their eyes weren't smiling at all; they were dull and lifeless. Amazing, despite all the apparent brilliance, the play was in fact performed by zombies!

I work in the field of finance that at times makes a pressure cooker feel temperate. The portfolio managers and analysts sometimes feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. Yet when you look at many of these people, they often look remarkably young; you often can see a sparkle in their eyes. They have seen this movie before; they remember how it feels when they come roaring back. They hunger for that moment when they will be at the top of the world again while everyone else is jealous of their success and guts. The little children in the far-away country are different though. They have given up hope. Their soul has been destroyed with all the lies and hardship of the dictatorship. 

Keep the faith and keep moving. It is not the pain that kills you, it is the hopelessness. Never mind a few missed steps as long as you can keep your eyes on the Way for your next one. A spiritual traveler never loses hope because she always has the Way to fall back on.

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