All of us, when we are born, are born with a blank cheque from god. The amount typically filled in by most of us is 50 paise. May be one or two of us fill in 51 paise or 52 paise. This is the sad state of affairs here today! To make things sadder, the reason why most people do this is that everyone else fills in 50 paise. There is the very rare individual who fills in a million dollars and everyone is so shocked about it! His entire family, friends and so called well wishers strongly advice the person from going against the conventional wisdom of filling in 50 paise.All this was said in the context of finding a noble vision for oneself. He was telling that only a life spent in trying to actualize a noble vision can be fulfilling. Instead, 99.999% of people spend their lives trying to satisfy their needs, wants, cravings and desires. Of course, nothing wrong in having them but spending all of ones life on that is what the issue is. He was saying that trying to achieve happiness through such means is so trivial and such people never get to know what a fulfilling life could be like.
As he said those words about a blank cheque from god, I was reminded of this old tamil poem:
நந்தவனத்தில் ஓர் ஆண்டி - அவன்
நாலாறு மாதமாய்க் குயவனை வேண்டிக்
கொண்டு வந்தான் ஒரு தோண்டி - அதைக்
கூத்தாடிக் கூத்தாடிப் போட்டுடைத்தாண்டி
A mendicant in the sacred garden
Prays for 10 months, and
arrives with a vessel
Unfortunately, he plays carelessly
and breaks it!
He was also talking about the famous example of the two stone cutters. The first one when asked what he does, said he cuts stones. The other, when asked what he does, says he helps in building the Taj Mahal.
Most people whom when asked, 'What they do', answer they work in xyz company. I have hardly come across someone who said they are working to accomplish such and such a thing. Even when I was in academia, I met only one professor who talked about the beauty of the scientific problems that she is trying to solve. Such is the state of affairs.