Heading Nowhere

John had one of the best jobs in the world. While thousands of people commuted through the Naples Metro Stations in Italy, and several others went for sightseeing, John worked there in the Monitoring and Control Unit. The Toledo Station was on Line 1 of Naples Metro and was renowned for its exceptional beauty. The Daily Telegraph named it the most beautiful station in Europe in 2012 and 2013, it won the LEAF Award for the “Public Building of the Year”. Some stops of the Naples Metro were developed into Art Stations. Well-known international and local contemporary artists and architects were commissioned to design the stops for beauty and comfort. Toledo was particularly beautiful because of its silver and blue lights that evoked a fantasy-like aquatic ambience. Though 40 metres below the street-level, light wells were created so that daylight from the streets above was channelled into the station.

John never got tired of admiring his “office”. But for the umpteenth time, he glanced at the young man at the extreme corner. He’d been there since the early hours of the day and hadn’t made any move to leave. Not that it was unusual, but most people around were either passing through or coming for some pictures. Whatever the case, they left when they were done. Obviously, the young man wasn’t done yet, John thought to himself.

After a few more hours, John approached the man and said, “Good evening, I’m John”. “Nice to meet you John, I’m Brian,” he said. “It’s a beautiful view, isn’t it?” said John. “Certainly is,” answered Brian. John asked, “are you heading somewhere, Brian?” “Oh no,” said Brian, “I’m going nowhere”. “So, you came to sightsee?” Asked John. “You can say that,” Brian said as he started to unpack his sleeping bag. “Wait a minute; what are you doing?” Asked John. “Well, you see, I quit my job, sold my house and crossed the sea to find a perfect place to spend the rest of my life, and this is the place,” Brian said still unpacking. “No, it’s not!” John exclaimed. “As beautiful as this place is, it’s non-residential. If you don’t have any business here, you’ll have to leave. If you are going nowhere, don’t do it here!”

Life is a passage, not a destination. No matter how beautiful or satisfactory your present position is, it is only a passage to something greater. Never get carried away by the benefits you currently enjoy; unless you are progressive, they won’t last. Watch what you sacrifice your efforts for. Brian quit his job, sold his house and made a trip just to claim what he could not have. It isn’t wrong to make sacrifices for your lofty dream, only make sure it’s not a castle in the cloud. Life is not about the ideal destination; it is about a profitable journey. When you stop striving, you start aging.