Life and Its Legs

So now you have a farm, two houses, and four cars, correct?’ asked Marcelo.

Ivan nodded.

‘Well done!’ Marcelo smiled amicably to his old friend. ‘And what else have you got? A master’s degree from Universidad de Chile, a good and stable job, and what else? Money, ah, how much money have you got? More than a hundred million pesos, I suppose?’

Ivan did not reply, but his smile meant a ‘yes’ to all of the questions.

‘And with all of these in your hands, you’re still the first to arrive at work and the last to leave, yes?’

For the second time, Ivan nodded.

‘For how long?’

‘Three years and a half.’

‘Oh, poor Ivan Espinoza,’ Marcelo sighed.

For a moment he stopped talking. The conversation that previously was filled with laughter and jokes suddenly turned itself into a deep silence. Marcelo gazed over Ivan and tapped his right shoulder tenderly. An air of confidence was transpired from the light of his eyes, despite his graying eyebrow. ‘My friend, did you see that table?’

‘Yes,’ Ivan glanced to a table next to them.

‘How many legs?’


‘If you break one of the table’s legs, will you have a balanced table?’


‘So is life. It’s got four legs: education, money, a job you love, and a family you adore. If you break one of life’s legs, you will have an imbalanced life,’ remarked Marcelo.

Sighing, the man paused for a little while before continuing. ‘Now you have a good job, money, and proper education, but you don’t see your children except when they are asleep before and after work. Is that a balanced life? You work for your family, don’t you?’


‘So why do you work so hard but spend less time with them?’

Written by Subhan Zein


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