Into the same box

“After the game, the king and the pawn go back into the same box.” – Italian proverb

Tonight was one of the rare nights for a long time that I have no evening appointment, so I was able to stay at home. Even rarer was the fact that there was no pressing assignment (read: marking, preparing for lessons, reading up), so I thought I would laze around a bit and watch TV (you know you haven’t watched TV for a while when the commercial jingles are new and catchy to you, and your dad gives you the look that says, you mean you haven’t heard this before?) And it so happens that tonight was the last episode of ‘The Ultimatum’, that Channel 8 drama serial which stars Zoe Tay and Fann Wong (1st screen reunion after ‘Golden Pillow’! =). I have absolutely no idea what the plot was, but it’s usually quite easy to tell just by watching the last episode. =P

As I watched people being shot and people dying in the episode, a train of thought ran through my mind which must have been due to something I read recently. What I was thinking was: When you are lying on the hospital bed in the intensive care room (like a few characters in the episode), it really doesn’t matter if you were once the CEO of Feng Huang, or an unknown ‘carelefare’. Because at the threshold of life and death, all these distinctions fade away. In this room like no other in the world, the world changes shape. Vanity, fame, wealth, pretence, pride all vanish as your entire universe is focused on the doctor’s next report. And the people who wait become different. No one is rude. The hawker uncle loves his wife as much as the university professor loves his, and everyone understands this. Isn’t it ironic that it takes the immediacy of mortality for distinctions like class, race, status to no longer matter? Could we learn to love if only we realise that every day of life is a day in the waiting room?


~ by irwin on July 7, 2009.

5 Responses to “Into the same box”

  1. haha if only this were facebook. i’d be clicking on the “like” button right about now.

  2. “After the game, the king and the pawn go back into the same box.” – Italian proverb
    i interpreted it like, life on earth is really too short. after your human life on earth ends, everything goes back into a box. the game ends. The end.
    Life on earth is like a chess game. We play around. There are inevitable ranks, status, we hold that seem so important within the game. Like how the role of a king, bishop, queen, pawn all play different roles. we play all our different roles in this game of life. But once the game ends. What comes after?
    Believe in eternal life. Then, there is eternal life afterwards. And maybe that quote when I first came across it, reminds me of how temporal earth is. And how eternity is immense. Don’t just look at the box of game.

  3. hey xiu! =)

    yes, i agree with your interpretation too. how rank and status, wealth and fame can seem so important in this life, but when we reach the end of the road, we know that all these will lose their significance. Overnight. Or even just in an instant. Death is the ultimate leveller, such that at the end of our lives, whether we be princes or paupers, kings or knaves, we all have to bow the knee in front of our Creator God.

    indeed, don’t just look at the game. look at the box and what lies beyond it.

  4. “After the game, the king and the pawn go back into the same box.” – Italian proverb

    So so true… 🙂 All riches and glory will be reduced to ashes and dust some day so I guess perhaps the message is to focus on the things that will last, like His favour.

  5. amen! =)

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