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The basket

December 15, 2016

She was now old and frail. A global icon I’d heard so much about, someone I revered. Finally privileged to sit among a handful (if I remember right, only children, me as their accompanying teacher) and hear her speak to them/me face to face, I wondered what she had to say – probably she hadn’t come out in a long time! She herself a victim of a dark mind, I was waiting to pick up on leads I knew she was irreparably affected by, but can’t as much remotely hint at. Instinct told me I might get today all she ever wanted to say of life, and there might never be another chance, not for me, probably not for others too. So I was eager for the invaluable, poised to pounce on the priceless. And in the course of her conversation she suddenly slowed down to the pace of dangerous terrain. In her wrinkled eyes past her specs thick as bottle glass I saw a look sharp as a sword. Maybe it was her conviction that a teacher must never address her students sitting and that’s why she stood through her talk at 85, back now bent and crooked with age. Her snowy hair fluttering under the fan in a low voice she warned with a tinge of hope: Your mind is like a basket. You get to take what you put in. Put in good and you will have good to take out. Put in bad and you will have bad to take out. Put in lots of it and you’ll have lots to take out. Your mind is what you make of it, so be careful! At that moment I knew I got what I was waiting for. And now after close to 15 years, I can’t help but say I’ve been deeply affected by the truth of her statement. Along the years from then on I began to make amends and the more I used her priceless words, the more I’ve stood to gain. And at so many levels! Maybe you too can do with these two words that may change your life forever for the better: the basket.

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