It was the worst snow storm ever in Canada. It had snowed heavily all day and much of the evening. When my wife and I got up at 5 a.m last week and looked out of the window, all we saw was an expanse of white, covering everything around. There we no roads, no yards, no driveways, just a thick layer of snow covering everything.
In this weather, we took a taxi ride to the airport to catch our flight to Cancun, Mexico, in near total darkness. Our taxi driver was a genius, he found thinner patches of snow that could be called roads. We made it to the airport in time, dashed through the security check and finally boarded the plane.
Then our aircraft got stuck in the snow before take-off. Heavy machinery was brought in to finally get the plane moving. The very brave ground staff loaded our luggage in extreme weather, we could see them struggle with opening the luggage hatch.
After two hours on the ground, our aircraft took off in a snow blizzard. Five hours later we landed in a tropical paradise. In just five hours we escaped from sub-zero conditions to a balmy twenty degrees Celsius in Cancun. Another one hour on the bus, and we finally reached our destination, an all inclusive resort just off the beach. We were in good company because twenty other relatives joined us from all over North America for this unique family vacation.
We are now a few days into this vacation and it has taught me so much about life and, of course, relativity. On the first day of the vacation everyone ate a lot; the drinkers amongst us imbibed as much as they could. We filled up our plates and wasted food. We were loud and we were noisy, and most of us simply could not stop talking.
We got up at sunrise, and explored the beach, the water sports and all attractions in this resort. The evening ended late; some of the youngsters partied till midnight. All ages were represented, from ten to eighty years, in this august gathering.
On the second and third day, we sobered down quite a bit. I started eating much less, and, wasting a lot less food. We became more selective about our activities. I went to cavort with the dolphins, a unique experience. Some of us went snorkelling, observing the fish and the tortoises in their natural habitat. We still walked a lot, averaging seven kilometres a day.
Slowly, our bodies starting taking charge of our minds. Some of us had stomach cramps, from eating too much good food. My body hurt in more ways than I could ever imagine. My wife was in bad shape, with aches and pains all over. Still, it was great fun for all, and a great family bonding time.
Mid way through our vacation I had a moment of insight.
What if we are already living in an all – inclusive resort on planet earth, without even realizing it?
This planet gives us everything we need to have a great life, and we have already paid for it with our previous karma. In what way is it any different from an all-inclusive vacation?
We can eat what we like, drink what we like, and take what we like as long as we remember that we are only guests here. We don’t really own anything here, the material goods are only for our temporary use. Once we are done with them, others will use them. Once we check-out, others will check in. Sure, we have to work for a living, but if we enjoy what we do, it is not really work, it’s just a vacation.
We come to this resort called life with a group of our own people from our own community, and we can have a great time in each other’s company. However, we must not be disruptive to other groups, because after all they are also guests and have a perfect right to be here.
We have to watch what we consume all the time. If we lack discipline, our body will discipline us very quickly. Also, there is no point in stealing anything from this all-inclusive resort, because nothing here belongs to us anyway.
We also have to be very respectful towards the myriads of workers who maintain this resort. In our Mexican resort, there were hundreds of workers who worked for low wages and kept the place running smoothly.They prepared food for us, served us drinks and kept the place very, very clean.
It’s the same with the world we live in. It’s the every day low wage workers who keep the world running for us. If we had a few less politicians, or businessmen, or even academics, the world would still function. We could do with a few less engineers, too; there will just be less things to build and destroy. However, take away the plumbers, the electricians and the sanitation workers, and the world as we know it would come to a stop very quickly.
Let us enjoy the all-inclusive resort called planet earth for as long as we can. We are here for a very short stay and there are others just waiting to check-in.
As the poet TS Eliot says:
“Hurry up please, it’s time.”
Before we know it, it will be time to check-out.