My father told bedtime stories with a glint in his eye that belied the grin on his face. When he stopped we chorused “and the moral of the story is…. greed leads to grief, ego leads to fall, fighting leads to loss..” and so on.
But not always.
One story he loved to confound us with is Two Cats. It goes something like this:
A big cat saw a little cat chasing its tail and asked “Why are you chasing your tail so?”
“I have heard that the best thing for a cat is happiness and that happiness is in my tail. Therefore I am chasing my tail and when I catch it, I will have happiness.”
Said the old cat “My child, I too have paid attention to the problems of the universe. I too have judged that happiness is in my tail. But I have noticed that when I chase my tail, it runs away from me and when I go about my business, it just seems to come after me wherever I go.”
At that time, I thought I was the little cat. I grew up and then I was the big cat. Now, I am both cats; sometimes at the same moment in time.
Or maybe there is more than one moral in the story?
I am a research scientist. I started programming when software was being invented. I loved writing code: it is logical, definitive, purposeful. If it doesn’t work, you fix it- machines don’t care. So much like my childhood when I knew good from bad, right from wrong. I loved my job. I lived a in a world I understood. I got paid. Handsomely.
When I became a manager (no coding, all talking) I found to my dismay that people are nothing like machines. I stumbled in my job till I remembered the story of the two cats. That is when I started writing. Not Cobol or C++ but English. At first I wrote technical stuff – it is halfway between man and machine after all.
Now I research social issues. So I write fiction. Stories that masquerade as essays, memoirs that are fiction and just plain old stuff I wake up with.
If I can write stories of hope in the face of hurt, shine some light where it is dark, laugh in the hour of sorrow and escape from the mundane … if…if. ..the list is long.
I especially want to give voice to all the good in the world to help me face the news onslaught about racism, fanaticism, intolerance. I hope one day I may catalyze a dialog about our differences. I hope we can be on the same side even if we don’t share religion, race or class.
I want to write about bad people doing good and good people doing bad. And I want to make it entertaining so someone will read what I write.
Because really, if I don’ make a story of it who will read it? I will end up chasing my tail.
And maybe one moral of the story – it is easier to preach than practice.
It is hard work man! hit that Like button now – please. See its the only one the coder gave you- there is no unlike, sorta-like, leave-me-alone. See? None of that – Just Like.
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