A Tale to Tell
IF and WHEN were friends. Every weekend they met and had lunch. Their conversation usually centered on all the things they were going to plan in their upcoming days. They both had many dreams and they loved to talk and discuss about them. Days, weeks and months passed off in this manner till they became heart broken.
On last Saturday when they met and sat together in a cafeteria, WHEN sensed that IF was not in his usual great mood. As usual they sat at the table reserved for them and ordered their lunch. Once they placed their order, WHEN questioned IF. "IF what is wrong with you? You don't seem your usual cheery self?"
IF looked at WHEN and replied, "I'm not sure WHEN; I just don't feel like I am making any progress. This last week I saw a professional course I wanted to take if only I had the time to take it."
WHEN knew exactly how IF felt. "Yes," replied WHEN, "I too saw tour Brochure and I am going to register when I get enough money together." WHEN then said, "Well what about that new job you were going to apply for? You were so excited about it last week, did you apply?"
IF responded, "If my health didn't break down last week, I would have applied. But, my health was very poor, so I could not type my resume."
"Don't worry about it IF, when you are ready another job will come through. I have been thinking about looking for another job also, but I will wait and when the weather gets nicer I will look then. It’s too hot outside and if it cools down a little, I surely will turn up." WHEN then went on to tell IF about his week, hoping that it would cheer him up a bit.
“But WHEN, exactly when will our sunny days will come? If it doesn’t come at all, then?”
An old man at the next table couldn't help overhear WHEN and IF. They both were talking about when this and if that, finally he couldn't take it anymore. "Excuse me gentlemen," the man said. IF and WHEN both looked at the man and wondered what he wanted. The man continued, "I'm sorry, but I couldn't help hearing your conversation. I think I know how you could solve your problems."
IF astonishingly smiled and thought, how could a complete stranger know how to solve all of their problems? Neither had he known them nor he is aware of the problems IF asked the gentleman, "How do you think you can solve our problems?"
The gentleman smiled and said, "You only need listen to yourselves. It reminds me of an old proverb:
IF and WHEN looked puzzled. The gentleman smiled and said, "Start counting how many times you use the words 'if' and 'when'. Rather than thinking 'if and when', start doing, take action, stop talking about 'if and when' and surely you will see a path to follow. Stop dreaming aimlessly, wake up and do the needful to make your dreams come true.”
IF and WHEN both looked surprised, and suddenly realized that what the gentleman had said was so true. Both of them were guilty of thinking, acting and living their life for the "ifs and whens". The gentleman left and IF and WHEN's conversation changed. They made a pact that when they met for lunch next week, there would be no "ifs and whens"; they would only talk about what they accomplished!