Circle of Life

Snehal Karia
5 min readMar 15, 2023

Tales to tell, stories to share…

Photo by Javier Esteban on Unsplash

Today I am going to write about something that is constantly on my mind — the Circle of Life! So beautifully illustrated in The Lion King but I have a different take on this philosophy of life. Mufasa tells his son Simba that “When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelop eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life”. I am going to write about our Circle of Life — our childhood to adulthood and back to childhood. I have already expressed this in my story, but this is a different take on the similar thought. As always I would prefer to use my own personal life story rather than use some random anecdote.

Year 1978. I vividly remember my dad training me as to holding the table tennis racket and explaining me the difference between the rough & hard and the smooth & soft — two sides of the racket. I so clearly remember that (surprisingly, but not then 😁) many a times I used to win the game against my dad. I would jump with joy and run to my mom to tell stories of how I defeated dad in the TT game. And to my utter satisfaction, my mom would also congratulate me and boost my ego. Later once I became a dad, I understood that sometimes losing is the way to winning. There’s a word in Hindi language for this — Baazigar.

Year 2015. My boy is 6 years old and had already developed liking for table tennis. He wants to play but alas! he can hardly reach the height of the table! Bringing a stool or a long table can’t suffice. So my wife used to lift him up while he used to play against me and vice versa. Slowly he started playing well, won a school level competition and rest is a pleasant proud history.

Yesterday we played seven games. He won 4–3! And he has been winning since some time now. A full circle? Now maybe his son or daughter…? 😀

The above life illustration tells us that what goes around comes around. This great circle of life is an ongoing process. From generations this has been the definition of life. In my above referred story, I have written about the second childhood. This is also a circle of life. We have been given one life and we need to appreciate every phase of this life. Frankly speaking, it’s fun to see life go by and how our perspectives and priorities change. What was of utmost importance suddenly becomes a low priority. What we understood of a certain situation in life completely changes with age and situations. Beauty of life is that everyone is served the same — the same planet, the same plants, the same air, water, and soil. Everyone is given a land of opportunities and everyone has their free-will to do what they want to. But…every individual life is different, two individuals look differently and behave differently at the same set of opportunities. Someone becomes spiritual whereas someone becomes a psychopath. Some people give up on life whereas some become super successful in all walks of life. Have seen people falling off the ladder of success or climb up after a near impossible situation. The maturity to handle life situations comes from the sensibility imbibed within us over the developmental stage. Education and educated parents play a very important role in the way we prepare ourselves to face and take up life challenges.

Observe the image below. What do you see?

Photo by Joel & Jasmin Førestbird on Unsplash

Do you see concentric circles or do you see one circle leading to another and finally reaching the core? Depending on your perception, you will look at opportunities and situations accordingly and that would become your outlook towards life. Looking at this image, I would love to perceive that the circle of life has many cracks in it. It’s up to us that whether do we fall off the cracks into a never-land or arrive at the core of the circle through these cracks and reach the ultimate goal. I have been trained to see opportunity when they arrive and catch it before it passes away. However there are some who would like to ponder, think, plan, strategise, and discuss endlessly leading to the timing of that opportunity being lost. In the busy circle of life, the need of the hour is to think fast, act fast, and achieve fast. There are too many things to be achieved in life and keep moving forward, because as per my dad, “Even to stand with the world, you will have to keep running.”

Come to think of it…everybody is given a certain time between life and death and what we make out of it is what makes us different. Animals and plants have a well pre-defined purpose in life, but we are given this intelligence and a freewill to think and carve out a purpose of our being. That’s why we are called human-beings because we need to learn to “be human”. Alphabetically also, between B (birth) and D (death) comes C which could mean Choice. How we choose to live will define us. I heard this analogy in one of the talks of Monk Gaur Gopal Das ji and that truly made me think about the depth of this philosophy. If we use our mental faculties that’s unique to humans, we can achieve much more and can live a fulfilled life. “Fulfilled” is the word. Everyone lives and dies, but when you live a fulfilled life, when people remember you for your deeds and not just your self, when people feel a vacuum and can’t easily think of ways to fill up the void, you have achieved something.

Passing thoughts

We, humans, are not given this wonderful opportunity called Life, to just pass through. We have been sent with a purpose. All we need is to keep our senses open and be sensitive to our surroundings. If we listen, see, understand, and empathise with people and things around us, we will definitely find our purpose. And this purpose need not be spiritual only. We can be a good business person, a social worker, a good parent, a helpful and true friend, a helpful neighbor — whatever that constitutes being a good human. Remember what goes around, comes around, and that my dear reader is The Circle of Life. Enjoy…cheers!