10. And bananas
Banana is a common fruit in India. In fact, it is so common that people do not value it very highly. They even use it in sentences like this, “after putting in all these efforts, what did you get back? Bananas?”
Because of its abundance and low price we have forgotten the value of banana. Even though it is such a delicious fruit. Full of nutrients and very satisfying.
On the other hand, banana is considered an exotic fruit by the people living far from the tropics. In places where it is very rare, people would go to great lengths and pay a high price to have it.
Evidently we have a tendency to crave for things that are rare and belittle what we have in abundance. Even when the abundant object is perfectly capable of satisfying our need.
We love to crave for what we do not have at the moment. The relentless desire, on one hand drives us forward but on the other hand keeps us constantly dissatisfied. The moment we get the desired object we start craving for the next. It is like chasing a mirage. And it goes on and on and on. Our whole lives can be summarized by this loop.
If we think carefully, we will realize that many of our sufferings are caused by such meaningless craving.
If we can only learn to appreciate the banana we are holding in our hands instead of dreaming about the cherries that grow in a faraway land, we will reduce our suffering to a large extend.
Of course, craving for things seems natural for human beings. But if we think a bit carefully, we will realize that to a large extent it is nothing but a habit. A habit cultivated over time and encouraged by others.
It turns out that our minds are actually capable of staying at the present moment and be happy with what is. Instead of constantly craving for what was or what could be.
It is just a matter of training the brain. And Buddhism is basically that training.