Last Sunday I attended Buddhist Fellowship Indonesia’s “Beautiful Heart and Peaceful Mind” event at Central Park Ballroom, Jakarta. The speakers were two great masters from two Buddhist traditions, Ajahn Brahm and Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche.
In his talk, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche shared a story about his friend who was a stock trader. He said: “Life is like a stock market.” I kept thinking about this and I would like to share with you what I had contemplated in the last two days.
First, life is like a stock market because it goes up and down. It is changing all the time. Although the stock market index might not change at the end of the day, the movement during the day would be unique to that particular day. As in life, there isn’t a day that is exactly the same.
Imagine if the stock market is flat all the time, then nobody can make any money. Life that is flat will be boring. It is the change that makes every day colorful and interesting. Therefore we should accept, even embrace change if we want to be happy in this life.
Second, life is like a stock market because it is shaped by many conditions. There is no single explanation why something happens; it is usually a combination of things that causes something to happen. In stock market, we can never determine the exact cause why did the price go up or down? There are so many factors that can influence the price of a stock. Since we can never know the exact cause, it is wise to learn to see things as they really are, life as it is.
Third, life is like trading in the stock market, it is full of dissatisfaction. For example, when we think the price is low, we would buy the stock. After we bought the stock, the price went down and we became unhappy because we could not buy at the lowest price. On the other hand, when the price is high, we would sell the stock. After we sold the stock, the price went up and we also become unhappy because we could not sell at the highest price. Either way, there is a chance of disappointment and anguish. Even when we are right and make profit in trading a certain stock, the happiness will not last because we always want more.
What should we do then?
Mingyur Rinpoche gave this advice: “Let go but never give up!” It means that we should try to do our best to create the best condition but do not cling too tightly to the end result.
Like in the stock market, we study the market to our best ability, we make decision to buy or sell to the best of our knowledge, and then the market shows us whether we make profit or loss. Nobody profits all the time and nobody loses all the time.
In life, we also need to do our best. Sometimes we make right decisions, sometimes we make wrong ones. Even when our decision turns to be wrong, we should learn to let go and learn from the experience. Remember that we are not right all the time and we are not wrong all the time.
Learn and Grow!
Inge Santoso, B. Com