I was starting up the nightly Minecraft game. I flicked through the options and asked which texture pack we should use. Asha asked for the Plastic pack.
“Can’t use that one,” I told her.
“It’s just a trial pack. We won’t be able to save what we build.”
“I don’t care.”
“But anything you make will be gone when we exit. Forever.”
“That’s okay,” she said. She was willing to spend her unredeemable time building something awesome, and then walk away and let it cease to exist. It reminded me of a couplet from the Bhagavad Gita:
You have the right to work,
but never to the fruit of work.
Sounds awful, doesn’t it?
At the end of the day, though, that’s just how it is. And not just in the obvious sense—that often we work really hard for something we don’t get. That’s how it is in a bigger sense.
I want my life to matter. We all do, I bet. We work hard to matter. We draw attention to ourselves and train long hours and take crappy jobs to make our mark. But no mark we can make will last. A billion years from now, nothing that I have done will remain anywhere at all. I build my castles, but when it’s time to quit, I cannot save the game. Seems depressing, eh?
But not to Asha. She isn’t concerned about the fruit—saving the game. No, the game is in the building. She hasn’t learned that she’s supposed to suffer and strive and sacrifice today for a tomorrow that never seems to come.
I hope she never does.