The Lost Bag and the Revolution

By Auston

During a recent Youth Culture Festival, my bag containing my personal belongings was missing from the holding area. I discovered this during the second day of the festival. At that moment I experienced mixed feelings, as I felt my tremendous joy clash with my unhappiness from the lost of my bag. I admit that I was affected and very much displeased. Fortunately a senior in faith was kind enough to make sure all efforts to recover it were made. Even after a few days of fruitless searching, he still called me to check on my condition.

"Don't worry. We will try all means to look for it," he said.

"Okay, thanks," I replied.

Then came the killer question.

"Are you affected by this?" he asked.

I replied, "Yes", though I wanted to say "No". The truth was I was affected. In fact I believe that even my faith was affected by the disappearance of my bag after the successful performance of a significant cultural event. I am after all still human. My handphone was in the bag together with my wallet.

"Let's meet," he said.

We met up and we had a great heart-to-heart dialogue. I admitted to him how ridiculous I felt that my bag could just go missing like that, when I was striving so hard for my part in the show, when I had put in so much effort

"Please don't lose more than just your bag," he said.

Suddenly everything became clear to me. Unfortunate things happen, even to Buddhists. But to cling on to the hurt and unhappiness would be to live in the past, and to let events determine our happiness. In this case not just my happiness was shaken, but so was my faith. I had let the lost of my bag cause me to doubt and this shook my faith!

"You have to learn from this incident," he said.

Have you ever heard of any experiences where members slacken in faith due to mishaps or unfortunate events, or even due to lost of possessions? For me, I almost set the value of my faith to be the monetary value of my bag. This is a clear indication of my shallowness and weak faith, and also lack of a strong self. However, on the flip side, this allowed me to have a good hard look at myself and also gave me direction to do my human revolution. I realized that I must always look on the bright side of things. In fact, I should always view all matters from the viewpoint of Buddhism and derive the true lesson to be learnt from it. That would be to practice without a begrudging spirit! That would be to live life to the fullest!

Fortunately, I had only lost my bag.