Thursday, September 23, 2010

What is Commitment

I will never forget what my old headmaster told taught me. Normally when you are only 15 years of age you do not remember most of the things that are preached by your teachers. But, this particular story is one such lesson that I will never forget. Every time I drift off course, I get reminded of this story.

It was a normal Monday morning at an assembly, and he was addressing the students on important things in life and about committing ourselves to what is important to us. This is how the story went:

An old man lived in a certain part of London, and he would wake up every morning and go to the subway. He would get the train right to Central London, and then sit at the street corner and beg. He would do this every single day of his life. He sat at the same street corner and begged for almost 20 years.

His house was filthy, and a stench came out of the house and it smelled horribly. The neighbors could not stand the smell anymore, so they summoned the police officers to clear the place. The officers knocked down the door and cleaned the house. There were small bags of money all over the house that he had collected over the years.

The police counted the money, and they soon realized that the old man was a millionaire. They waited outside his house in anticipation to share the good news with him. When he arrived home that evening, he was met by one the officers who told him that there was no need for him to beg any more as he was a rich man now, a millionaire.

He said nothing at all; he went into his house and locked the door. The next morning he woke up as usual, went to the subway, got into the train, and sat at the street corner and continued to beg.

Obviously, this old man had no great plans, dreams or anything significant for his life. We learn nothing from this story other than staying focused on the things we enjoy doing, commitment.

We should remain true to our course; which may mean committing yourselves to things that people around you would normally disapprove. Let nothing distract us from being happy, let nothing else determine our fate, but ourselves.

What makes us happy is what matters in the end, not what we acquire.

Written by O.F Thataone


Wan Sharif said...

Wow.. it is unforgettable..

masterwordsmith said...

Dear Saudara Wan Sharif

Indeed! This is one beautiful post that I found in the net...Thought I'd share it to inspire each one of us to be committed to our dreams and ambitions.

Take care and do keep in touch. Thanks for stopping by.


sot said...

Nice entry. Do things that can make us happy & bahagia. Money is not the objective but it is always nice to have money, in fact it helps...a lot.

masterwordsmith said...

Dear sot

Salam...Thanks for visiting and for sharing your views. Am glad you like this entry. I do agree with your views.

Appreciate your honesty and candid comment.

Take care and have a lovely week. Do keep in touch!


Shirene said...

Dear MWS,

I like this so much, I think my dad should read this! He forced me to become a professional, an attorney, or go to a business school for my MBA. I'm obviously doing things which i hate it so much right now. Anyways, I'm graduating next year. I know, I won't be happy with my future, my job, but what to do? He's my dad. He always brain-washed me with words like 'If I don't study prof courses, graduate from college, gets good grades, I wont get a good job with high pay'..
But get with the times, the richest people don't get rich because of their education. Look at Michael Jordan and Madonna, even Bill Gates, who dropped out of Harvard found Microsoft.
Sometimes, I admired my friends so much. They are doing courses which they enjoy doing it.
Sorry for writing too much here, I just need someone to listen to me. I'm really sorry and thanks for sharing this beautiful post.


masterwordsmith said...

Dear Shirene

Once upon a time, I was like your dad. For decades, I trained my students to go to blue chip unis and I thought I could do the same with my boy, especially since he is a MENSA member with an IQ of 180.

Alas, it was not to be.

I wanted him to be an accountant or a lawyer but he wanted to be a musician.

He told me straight - "Mom, I can follow that path but you can be sure I will be miserable and will crash. Please do not make me live out the dreams that you failed to achieve yourself."


That really struck the core of my being...

So after his SAM, he went on to be a music major at uni and is very happy doing what he loves best, using the talents God has given me.

It is not perfect but at least he is happy.

And I had to give up my small ambitions :-).

You are a loyal, loving and filial daughter to obey your dad.

God bless you richly, Shirene. I am blessed to know you.

You can write to me at

Take care and my apologies for this late response.

Forgetful old lady here :-).

God bless! Please stay in touch!