I often hear young individuals lamenting, “I disdain this existence where the world unfolds before me in a single glance!” After clenching their jaws and vehemently stamping their feet, numerous individuals break free from their so-called “comfort zone” and embark on a grand escape. They envision bidding farewell to the mundane and monotonous life, and charging forward into a thrilling and exhilarating future.
Allow me to express a sentiment: No one can fathom the entirety of life at a mere glance. In our youth, we believed that ordinary days resembled those depicted in novels, and half a lifetime slipped away in the blink of an eye. However, as we gain experiences, we realize that life is an immensely intricate, enigmatic, and capricious journey. No one can predict what lies ahead, not even what will transpire tomorrow.
My niece toils away in an unremarkable occupation, with meager remuneration. It appears that she may remain in her current position for the next thirty or forty years. Yet, this may not be the case. Life is ceaselessly dynamic. The progress of society, the vicissitudes of time, and the alterations in people and circumstances around us propel our lives forward. We remain unaware of the circumstances we will eventually encounter, which may be better or worse.
Reflecting on the past forty years, one of my cousins wedded a man employed in a store. At that time, envy swelled among the store’s sales staff. Everyone presumed that my cousin’s life would be immediately settled, devoid of concerns regarding sustenance and clothing—a life filled with happiness. However, less than seven years after their marriage, her spouse was laid off, plunging the family into hardship. Over the ensuing thirty years, my cousin’s family underwent numerous trials and tribulations. They ventured into a small business, accumulated capital, and subsequently expanded their enterprise. Later, they lost their entire capital and accrued foreign debts. Despite this setback, they persevered and their circumstances improved once again. Now, as my cousin and uncle enter old age, their lives have finally found tranquility. When they recount their experiences over the years, they are filled with emotion. They have experienced fortune descending from the heavens and the sudden onset of misfortune. Looking back, the twists and turns of life are starkly evident.
Their experiences are not isolated incidents, but rather universal occurrences. Whenever we arrive in this world, we are likely to encounter these vicissitudes. No one can behold their entire life at once. Your present ordinary life may unexpectedly transform tomorrow, and your current stability may be short-lived. One of my classmates hailed from a privileged background. She perpetually believed she would forever be a princess. Unexpectedly, her family faced a series of misfortunes in recent years, leading to a rapid decline in their wealth. “Thirty years in the east, thirty years in the west,” these words indeed hold true.
“The days ahead are not long,” and “I know not whether tomorrow or misfortune shall arrive first.” Such words are seldom uttered by inexperienced youths, but rather represent profound realizations of individuals in middle age or beyond, who have weathered the storms of life. In youth, we often delude ourselves into thinking we possess control over everything and can shape the course of our destiny. However, each of us, a solitary vessel adrift on the sea, is feeble and vulnerable. We can only surrender to the currents of life, passively drifting north, south, west, and east, while attempting to adjust our course and steer our own rudder. Who can maintain a consistent state of existence for thirty or forty years? We continue to forge ahead with the relentless flow of time, and everything undergoes transformation. These changes may entail loss, or they may harbor opportunities. Each person’s life teems with possibilities and challenges. The crux lies in how you seize them.
Thus, I implore young individuals not to speak of a “life that stretches as far as the eye can see.” Your life has just begun, and infinite mysteries await you in the future. They may encompass boundless challenges, exceeding your grasp, or they may encompass boundless surprises and boundless potential.
Treasure what you possess and do not relinquish it easily. Behind every ordinary thing lies the enigma of destiny, and within every mundane occurrence resides the gift of life. Engage in your present pursuits, and brighter prospects shall unfurl in the days to come.