More from: The Chapter 8 of the Dhammapada entitled “Thousands” attributed to Siddhartha Gautama. Verse 13 talks of great effort.
There have certainly been times in my life when I wanted to cave in to idleness and sluggishness. However, I believe that activity and “great effort” have enhanced my life and makes life worth living.
I had the good fortune of having very slow and long summer vacations from first grade until I reached 16. They weren’t wasted. I read voraciously and studied piano and had time to think and envision my future. It was expected that I would work between my junior and senior year of high school since I could drive and was of legal age for working. That first job was as a clerk in a gift shop on the Indiana Toll Road. I also had 10 piano students. I taught one after the other quickly from house to house (thankfully often two were in the same home) on Saturday mornings into early afternoon. And I was the pianist for the local Methodist Church. Sluggishness stopped at that point in my life.
If I could afford to retire at 78, I can’t imagine a life of idleness. Working keeps me vital, interested, learning and delightfully happy.
The verse on this topic of the value of “great effort” from the Dhammapada is this:
“A single day’s life of one who puts out great effort
Is better than a life of a hundred years
Lived in idleness and sluggishness.”
The message is clear—It is always time to get “hopping”.