STORIES: “THE WINDOW” (happiness an internal journey)

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Here is another one of those anonymous stories that circulate around the internet and bring us a lesson about how we choose to experience life.

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The story goes as follows:

“The window”

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man  was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour a day to drain the fluids from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and  families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military  service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the  man in the bed next to the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed would live for those one-hour periods where  his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and  color of the outside world. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake, the man had said. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Lovers walked arm in arm amid flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite  detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

 

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.  Although the other man could not hear the band, he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive  words. Unexpectedly, an alien thought entered his head: “Why should he have all the pleasure of seeing everything while I never get to see  anything?”. It didn’t seem fair. As the thought fermented, the man felt  ashamed at first. But as the days passed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him sour. He began to brood and found himself unable to sleep. He should be by that  window – and that thought now controlled his life.

Late one night, as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the window  began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man  watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the window groped for the button to call for help. Listening from across the room, he never moved, never pushed his own button which would have brought the nurse running. In less than five minutes, the coughing and choking  stopped, along with the sound of breathing. Now, there was only silence–deathly silence.

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The following morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths. When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window, she was saddened and called the hospital attendant to take it away–no  words, no fuss. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the man asked if he  could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.

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Moral of the story:

The quest for happiness is an individual choice; it’s a positive attitude that we consciously choose to cultivate. It does not come from outside things, or through a window, it does not get delivered to our doorsteps each day. Our circumstances are a small part of what makes us happy. Waiting for the right time, or right circumstances to finally be happy we may never find it.

The pursuit of happiness is an inward journey. Our minds get programmed by our thoughts which in turn determine our behaviors.  Each uplifting, positive, encouraging thought can be be deposited in our inner bank. The thing is, we can choose our thoughts! We can decide what thoughts to dwell on and which ones we should discard and let them go. We can stop before negativity starts to take its toll and poison our minds. Each time pessimistic, critical, judgemental, distressing or gloomy  thoughts start to grow and like weeds in a garden  begin to smother the beautiful flowers, we can nip them in their buds and we can start planting more flower seeds to fill our life with hope, joy, color and beauty. Then, we can share our inner garden with others and spread the blessings around. It’s contagious!

 

I look forward to your comments if you enjoyed this story.

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed it 🙂

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  2. A story so inspiring and yes even I have read it on Whatsapp group. No matter where we are even if we see a wall or not we need to be happy and gay. Our Lord has given us enough and we need to be thankful for that and Life is beautiful but it is we with all our Egoic nonsense make it difficult. A true story and lovely and apt pictures, dear Amira.

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    1. Thank you so much dear Kamal for your insight and wisdom! Yes, sometimes all it takes is to change our thoughts and our perspective on things totally changes… 🙂

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      1. For sure Amira and change is always good. Welcome dear.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. LindaP says:

    What a touching story Amira! I have always admired people who see the beauty in everything! It was so sad that not only did this man find out that the window faced a brick wall, but because of his resentment he also lost the friend he spoke to every day!

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    1. Yes, I agree! This is a great lesson to show us what resentment, jealousy, and bitterness can do to us, they blind us and we become irrational, unable to see the blessings right in front of us! Thank you so much Linda for bringing this perspective to the story 🙂 ❤

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