Lessons of life: The lesson of the clock

September 30, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

I was using my computer this afternoon and I wanted to rest my eyes, so I looked out of the window to see the sea and a ship that appeared on the horizon. Then, a little bit later, I saw the clock hanging on the wall of my room. The hands of the clock drew my attention, especially the second hand. It was, as you obviously know, changing every second and every second I was observing its change. That led me to think about what change really means. In the city where I work now, TV commercials sell their products by using the advertising idea of being “something new” as if that mere fact were enough for a product to be good. Places change so quickly that when a new building is being built, you cannot even remember what thing was there before. Then, you go to cities like Toledo, for example, and you can see places that have not changed for centuries, keeping their charm and splendor intact.

The second hand of the clock changed every second and it went back to the same position to change again and again. In life, there are things that should be changed and there are things that should remain as they are. Change itself does not necessarily mean development. Sometimes, it only means a mere replacement. You can keep changing things and, you can end up moving in circles like the second hand of my clock. It is the change in attitude and behavior what really can take you to another level. Go for that change!

Copyright 2018 littethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.


Lessons of life: The lesson of the traffic light

September 29, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

Where I am now, the distance that separates two parallel streets is short, so are the blocks. With two and a half steps, you can cross a street and, despite that fact, there are probably “more traffic lights than streets” in some areas, if you let me add a hyperbolic brushstroke to this description. Under that context, I saw an elder lady running as fast as she could to cross the pedestrian crossing because the traffic light was about to turn red. She went on her way and it did not take her long to reach the next corner. The same situation repeated again and the elder lady did the same again: to run and run. I do not know for how long she continued doing the same, but believe me, she can win a marathon for her age. I praise her physical condition, but not her attitude. She was not running to take the last bus that takes her home: She does not work. Considering the way people treat the elderly these days, I don’t think that people were waiting for her arrival eagerly or happily. Then, what’s all the rush?

This elder lady is a good example of how this society has change people’s way of life and now they are in a hectic rush all day even without reason. And what do you gain by doing that? Acute stress that will eventually develop into cancer, cardiovascular disease and nothing else because whatever you say, whatever you do, somebody said it before, somebody did it before or will do it in the future and better than you. Wade across the river of haste instead of being dragged by it.

Copyright 2018 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

Photo: By courtesy of Nicholas cole under the criteria of Creative Commons (Flickr, 9-20-2018).

Lessons of life: The lesson of the trampoline

September 22, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

A.C. had been a successful man in the business world almost for his entire life. When some years ago, he wanted to talk to me, I presumed that something was wrong because rich people do not usually want to talk to those who are not.

“I almost lost everything, Eddy”, he said. “And the worst part is that I don’t know what to do! You can’t imagine how desperate I am.”

“That’s for sure, A.C., I’ve never been rich! Since I was a child, life has beaten me down many times. I don’t know about money as much as you do, but at least, in the field of vicissitudes, I can give you a piece of advice. Whenever I’m getting through difficult moments, I use my trampoline and, believe me, it really works out.”

“Your what?”

“My trampoline. I take it out of heart and mind and stand on it. Then, I start jumping. The harder problems push me down, the higher my trampoline will pull me up.”

A.C. got the message, smiled at me and returned to his home. Four years have passed since that moment. Yesterday I got a mail from him and he’s doing well (some people have an incredible talent to make money). When I asked him how he could grow again to that level, he said: “I did my hard work and the trampoline gave me the strength. So, the answer is the trampoline, Eddy, the trampoline.”

Copyright 2018 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

Photo: By courtesy of JMacPherson under the criteria of Creative Commons (Flickr, 9-22-2018).

Lessons of life: The lesson of the snake

August 22, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

Snakes are among the most undesirable animals. Not even the Bible talks good things about them. But the truth is that, in life, we can learn from everything, including these reptiles. The city where I work, for instance, only has two months and something with pleasant climate. The rest is stifling weeks in summer or cold winter days. So, when those two months come, I always try to make the most of them with outdoor activities and other things, including having lunch at a small park. The last two times I have been there, I have not been alone: The snake you can see in the photo above comes out of the bushes, near my bench, crosses the paved path and goes to the other part where there are more bushes and a stream. With an eye on my lunch and the other on the snake, I saw it, moving slowly to its final destination. I finished my lunch and the snake was still there; I prepared other things and it was there, doing the same: slithering gradually until it could reach its final destination.

Today, when one of the major distinguishing characteristics of our society is haste, that snake seemed to have a couple of things to teach us. For example, we go here and there by car or any other means of transport; the snakes moves slithering; we wear shoes, but the snake goes feeling the terrible condition of the weather and, to its dismay, it goes slowly. However, it keeps going with persevering movement until arriving to the place it wants to go. And, how about us? At the first sign of trouble, we only think about running, going back and giving up. From today, let’s try to be more patient and persevering than a simple snake.

Copyright 2018 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

Lessons of life: The lesson of the shoe

June 30, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

When I saw this shoe at a street today, the first thing that came to my mind was to add some humor to the situation. “To walk with one shoe only is fashion, perhaps” or “I wish him/her a fresh asphalt to walk!” And later, those jokes led me to a serious reflection: A shoe is useless if we do not have the other one to complete the pair. Considering the way a lot of people live their lives these days, it is no exaggeration to say that they look like this shoe: They build tall walls around their houses as if they were sending a message like this one: “do not steal me and do not bother me either!” Besides, their relationships with their neighbors are reduced to a mere greeting from time to time and they move around a small circle of people despite having hundreds of their photos on social networking sites! Things like this one are very often in those places traditionally called “the developed and rich countries”.

Human beings are not like bears, jaguars or ocelots, that is, solitary animals doomed by nature to live alone, but we are supposed to be gregarious thanks to the gift of reason and our capacity to feel deep emotions. Then, every time we take the wrong direction by trying to live alone as much as possible instead of living together in companionship and fraternity, we are running the risk of ending up as sad and lonely as this shoe.

Copyright 2018 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

Lessons of life: The lesson of the fault

May 1, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.


Today, on my way to work, I saw a couple of mothers whose minds were elsewhere since they were talking placidly while their children were playing just a couple of steps away from a street with heavy traffic. One of the children was laughing, something that hit the alarm of my brain because when a child is laughing, his or her second action will be to rush about, and that was exactly what happened when I got the corner: the child was jumping out the street to avoid being grabbed by his little friend without thinking about vehicles. Lucky for me (and for him too), I was expecting something like that, and therefore, I slammed on my brakes to avoid hitting him: He was only a couple of centimeters away from my front tire.

“How many times I have told you to be quiet today!”, his mother told him with anger in her words. Then, she said sorry to me and looking for a way to repay me for all troubles, she hit him in the head as if she tried to tell me: “Well, now we are even.”

I just smiled at them and went to work thinking about it. Was the child the person to blame for what happened? To ask a child to be quiet all the time is like asking the sky to stop raining because you will have a barbecue outside with your friends.

Blaming others for your own mistakes is easy; to accept that a mistake is your own fault is difficult because you have to swallow your pride first. The worst part of what happened this morning was not that she was trying to lay the blame to her son, but she did not realize that everything was her own fault. If you don’t have the courage to accept and assume responsibility for your own mistakes, at least do not blame others for them.

Copyright 2018 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

Lessons of life: The lesson of Alexander Alekhine

February 23, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

I will do my best to make this story as short as possible for a very simple reason: For those who do not play chess, the word “chess” is just enough to make a person feel very uncomfortable, horrified, terrified and petrified since the lack of understanding of the game gives the misleading impression that chess is much more boring than the word inertia.

Alexander Alekhine was a Russian player, whom I consider to be the best chess player ever. A genius can defeat another genius, a great player does the same against his or her counterpart, but how many times have you seen a normal person defeating a genius? That was exactly what Alekhine did, and he did it to a higher level than words can describe. He defeated “the chess machine”, José Raúl Capablanca. The lesson I learned from Alekhine began before his match against Capablanca. A journalist asked him how he intended to defeat the Cuban player, a chess prodigy who learned by himself how to play the game at the age of four by watching his father playing with friends, then pointed out an illegal move by his father, and beat him soon, a player who did not know the word defeat for eight long years.

“I don’t really know,” Alekhine said.

When the journalist was about to leave the place, he heard the voice of Alekhine with his famous phrase:

“But I don’t know how Capablanca intends to defeat me either!!”

Determination and courage to face the difficulties you have in front of you are the keys to get most of the things you want. The most beautiful games Alekhine played and bequeathed to us as legacy came one day after losing a game as if he wanted to tell us that whenever we fall down, we must stand up and keep fighting. Every time I have a difficult problem in front of me, I remember his words and say to myself: “I don’t know how to get out of this hole now, I don’t know how I am going to solve this problem, but I don’t know how this problem will remain unsolved in front of me either!”

Copyright 2018 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.