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  • Writer's pictureSona Parmar

The Pearly Gates

As Alexander the Great was dying, he asked to be buried with his hands dangling outside his coffin. His wish was to show everyone, that even the person who had amassed a great fortune and empire, would leave this world empty-handed.

While we do cannot take our riches, there are indeed two things that are carried forward: our actions (karma) and our habits (samskaaras).

And that means I have to be a good person.

Obviously, I like to think that I am always being a good person, doing the right thing, not intentionally squashing any beetles.

But I wonder.

I remember when I once spoke to one of my grandfathers about the secret to a long and happy life. Given that he is now 93, I figured he would know.

“Don’t screw anyone over.”

(Of course, I’m paraphrasing.)

He said that was how he slept easy at night.

I wondered again if I had been a good person. I wondered if I was enough of a good person. I decided that in order to let go of all the sh*t and to be forgiven for anything I had done, I needed to start using the Hawaiian forgiveness prayer: I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

Sometimes I listen to it on YouTube for an hour. Invariably I end up crying. I’m not sure what about. But I figure release is a good thing. And then I can go back to being as good a person as I know how to be. And maybe get a little better every day.

Because those pearly gates are as certain as death and taxes. And I sure as hell want to be ready.

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