Sunil George had a severe heart attack. His family doctor was called. The doctor’s verdict was sombre. “Sunil,” he said, “You have been neglecting my advice to take it easy. Now, I will make no bones about it. You’re in for some serious trouble if you continue to neglect medical advice any longer. You must strictly leave off attending to business and live a quiet and sedentary life, preferably on an isolated beach, for three months.
No letters, no telephone calls and no business talk. Got it?” Sunil understood. But for him it meant the end of the world. He was still relatively young, just into his fifties and at the height of his mental powers. He had taken his business from a humble beginning to the high place it now occupied.
Sunil loved his business; it was all he knew and all he had ever done. Each day he looked forward to going to the office. At night before going to sleep, he would go over business problems in his mind: lovingly, savouring each factor, always deliciously certain he had the answer. In the business world, Sunil was regarded as a titan; more of a machine than man.
He was respected, but (and he was neither aware of nor concerned about this) not loved. Even his family did not love him. He lived in an ivory tower, completely cut off from human ties. His entire world revolved around facts such as mathematics; things that were cut-and-dried. He would say to associates, “Give me the pieces of problem.
They can be round, square, oblong or of any other shape. I’ll find the proper solutions for them. But spare me people. You can’t predict them. Now, Sunil’s banishment was complete. He was virtually in exile, cut off from all communications. And he resented it.
One day, as he walked along the beach, morosely looking out at the sea, he came upon an old man sitting upon a rock. The old man tended a fishing pole and smoked a pipe. He had a white beard, and his blue eyes sparkled. Sunil was drawn to talk to him.
“Did you catch anything?”
The old man smiled and nodded.
“What have you caught?” asked Sunil.
The old man touched his head, and then his chest.
“I don’t understand,” Sunil said. “Sit down,” said the old man.
Sunil sat down. Something about the old man was compelling. Sunil’s interest stirred. “I’ve been watching you,” the old man said, “you walk along the beach every day, but never see it. You don’t want to be here, you want to be somewhere else, but you can’t be, and you refuse to accept it. Now I’ll tell you what I catch.”
The old man said: “I catch the knowledge that God is running the universe. I get that with my head, just by looking at the sky and the sea. Then I catch the feeling that God is running me. I get that with my heart, just by sitting still and listening. All there is to catch in life can be caught right here, that’s how good the fishing is. Why not try it?” Sunil did. He fished with the old man for the rest of his compelled retreat, and he felt his joy and vigour increase.
Within a year, his physician pronounced him competently fit and healthy. Back at his job, he is just as successful as ever, but successful now with people too. He works only four days a week and nearly every weekend, he goes for fishing at the beach. But most people never understand why because he seldom brings home any fish.
This story is a revelation to all those who live stressful lives, particularly in the business world. It teaches the principle of total surrender to God, which in turn develops the virtue of humility. Happiness comes out of humility and scintillating health emanates out of happy life.