I recently went to The States with my dad. We started and ended in Las Vegas and we got to see the Hoover dam, Grand Canyon, Bryce canyon and other wonderful national parks along the way. It was very similar to the trip my dad and Grandad took about 10 years ago. One day, when we were hiking down the Grand Canyon, we got chatting to a lovely American lady who now lived in Tibet. And at one point the Dalai Lama came up..
The purpose of life according to the Dalai Lama is ´Happiness and Usefulness´.
And as I was thinking about what to say today I was thinking about how Grandad lived his life and what lessons we could derive from it.
The first that springs to mind
· By all means, avoid spending money as much as you can!!
o The things Grandad could fix with a piece of string and his clever way of thinking is a quality to admire. The pure joy of puzzling and therefore not spending a penny was something that gave him much happiness!
· Luckily he didn´t care much for material things. He almost never locked the door or, god forbid, take the car keys out of the ignition. What a freedom to have! I remember one morning that Elizabeth came round the back, obviously used to the door being open, and when Grandad opened it he apologised that his guests kept locking up at night.
· The one very important thing worth spending, is time. The man always had a project on the go (finding a place to start a vineyard, starting the vineyard, keeping up with the vineyard, getting rid of the vineyard, his mosaics, the moon, peaches, you name it). This was his way of living, getting up early and doing something, being and feeling useful.
· And naturally spending time with family and friends so he could talk about his projects was a very important aspect of his life. He loved to chat and share a good story and he was so good at it too! You knew something was coming if you heard 'now' or 'well'.
So if we take his holiness´ ‘Happiness and Usefulness’ as a way to score his life, I think he did a rather splendid job!