Dave was struggling through a bus station with two huge and obviously heavy suitcases when a stranger walked up to him and asked, "Have you got the time?"
Dave sighed, put down the large and cumbersome suitcases and spoke to his wristwatch. “Time please.”
“The time is five thirty,” came a voice somewhere in the timepiece.
“Wow! What a watch!” exclaimed the stranger.
Dave brightened a little. “Yeah, it’s not bad. Check this out. The time in Japanese, please.” The watch responded in Japanese. Then Dave asked for German and Swahili and a realistic voice gave the time in those languages. And then, “What time is it in London,” Dave asked,“with a British accent?” The device gave it to him.
The stranger was incredulous. “Watch this,” said Dave. “Home monitor,” he said to the wristwatch. Immediately a 3-dimensional hologram projected in the space between the two men that perfectly displayed his living room. He could even see a half inch of coffee in the bottom of a cup he’d left on the table earlier in the day.
“Unbelievable!” said the stranger.
Then Dave spoke to the device. “Leave a voice message for Sharon that the bus is late and send flowers to my sister for her birthday. And give me the 5 O’clock news.”
“Done, done and done,” the voice confirmed. Suddenly a high-resolution hologram screen appeared in front of Dave. The two men felt as if they were sitting in the television studio watching the newscast.
The stranger was struck dumb with admiration. The display was of unbelievably high quality and the voice was simply astounding.
“Now, look at this -- ‘wedding photos’” Dave said the timepiece. Photos of his recent wedding appeared in front of them as if they were floating on air. “And play Bach,” he said, and music filled the space as the wedding album scrolled.
“This timepiece is a super powerful voice-activated computer. In addition, it is in contact with most of the world’s major satellites. And it is also a two-way radio that reaches halfway around the globe.”
“I want to buy that watch!” said the stranger.
“Oh no, it’s not ready for sale yet; I’m still working out the bugs,” said Dave.
“I’ve got to have that watch!” said the stranger.
“No, you don’t understand; it’s not ready….”
“I’ll give you $10,000 for it!” interrupted the stranger.
“Oh, no, I’ve already spent more than….”
“Then make it $20,000!” the stranger blurted. “Or just name your price.”
“But it’s just that….”
The stranger pulled out a fat wallet. “All right -- $50,000. I’ll give you the cash now.”
Dave blinked. He could always make another device and $50,000 would give him a nice profit.
The stranger thrust the money at Dave. “Here, take it! I have to catch my bus.”
Dave made his decision. “Okay,” he said, and took off the timepiece.
The stranger smiled and hurried away.
“Hey, wait a minute!” called Dave.
The man turned back warily. Dave pointed to the two suitcases he’d been trying to wrestle through the bus station and said, “Don't forget your batteries.”
I think life is like that for some people. What should be wonderful and exciting is complicated and burdensome. It is as if they are dragging heavy baggage wherever they go. They feel tied down (to a job? to a lifestyle? to a relationship?) and long for simpler times.
Many people wish their lives were less complicated. They remember a carefree time and dream of returning to a simpler day. They yearn for more freedom. Less worry and more laughter. If only they could trade some of today's complexity for yesterday's simplicity.
American essayist and novelist Charles Dudley Warner said, “Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.”
Rudyard Kipling yearned for less when he said, “Teach us to delight in simple things.”
Author Augustus Hare observed that “the greatest truths are the simplest -- and so are the greatest men.”
Maybe it’s time to make a decision for greatness; a decision for simplicity. Maybe it’s time to let go of that which weighs you down and walk with a lighter step. Maybe it’s time to love life again.
-- Steve Goodier