Rumi, the 13th century Persian poet and Sufi mystic, talks of loss and gain in the same breath. To him, they are part of the same situation and to interchange them, one needs only to change his perspective.
I never thought about Rumi’s words deeply till a few years back. Although, I am attracted to Sufi mysticism but I had just skimmed his poetry.
I have moved from place to place all my life. And I always mourned the loss of possessions and the inability to be in a particular place physically.
But, after a particularly painful incident and our subsequent moving to another place, I came to see my gains over and above my losses.
I used to miss the feeling of belonging and affiliation to a particular region but I realised that I belonged to the world. I have no narrow parochial ideas of what people should do and how they should behave. I have learnt to look beneath the surface and found a universality of experience in the life of people.
Above all, it is the broad spectrum of people I have met through my journeys that I find most meaningful. I am particularly grateful for this. As a child, I wanted to have friends from all walks of life. As an adult, I have had friends from all age groups and from all kinds of socio-economic and religious background. I have encountered different points of views and learnt to rejoice in them. I feel richer spiritually, because of this.
I was obsessed with finding the truth, the absolute truth and now I feel all facets of truth to be equally captivating just as the different patterns of a kaleidoscope are.
I have found bits of myself in other people, reflected in shards of their egos- the ugliness, the meanness, the littleness. I have glimpsed greatness, transcending difficulties and found them part of me too.
I find the world to be a tapestry of all souls, our destinies intertwined and interwoven.
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…”