Life is like playing the violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on. It can only be understood backward but must be lived forwards. These are the ideas that keep running on Hugh Gibbons's mind, as he tries to figure out what's next for him with his life. He sees life as a school, where learning keeps going on, with new events unfolding day in, day out. "Life is full of challenges,'' he says to himself, "...and you only stay strong when you emerge a winner in this game that is made for everyone."
Hugh Gibbons, a very successful architect who works for Perkins Eastman Architectural Company located in New York City, has a lot of issues going through his head. He is forty-five years old and stays all by himself at 6th Avenue Street, opposite Yeshiva University Museum. Averagely, Gibbons lives a successful life. What more would one need apart from a career with a good reputation? He milks extraordinary cash from his career. But what's the point of having too much wealth and there's no one to spend it on? Now that's the life of Gibbons. No wife and no kids. This explains why something deep inside keeps troubling him, and this thing is 'eating' him deep inside.
Trouble began for Hugh Gibbons three years ago. March 6th, 2015 is a day that will forever stick to Gibbons Mind. This day will forever stick to his mind. On that fateful Friday morning, John lost the people he describes in his life as the love and pillars of his life. His beautiful wife is called Alexander Kirk. The sad news of her wife's death struck him with too much sadness. His family was still young, and since then, he has been struggling to come to terms with the death of his wife.
On that Friday, the wife had woken up to go to the carwash, located just across the 6th Avenue Street. After about an hour, as he was preparing to leave for work, his phone started ringing. His wife's boss was calling him, asking where he was. Once he told the boss that he was at home, the boss hung up. The call made him think that the boss was just worried if his wife will be coming to work since it was getting late. His wife worked as a secretary in a legal farm in New York City. He, therefore, tried to call his wife. Her phone was going through, but no one was picking up. Five minutes later, he received two different calls from his colleagues. They wanted to know where he was. His wife's boss and a colleague arrived at his home. A few minutes later, he heard the sound of the siren of an ambulance just a few meters away. He began to get worried, and questions about her wife's safety began running through his mind. At that moment, people started streaming his house, but he still had no clue about what had happened. All these people were wearing sad faces. It was at this moment that he knew that something was amiss. A painful feeling hit him, and he found himself sobbing
According to the boss, who had offered to reveal the sad news to him, the death of his 8-month pregnant wife had been caused by an electric fault at the carwash. The wife was electrocuted at the carwash, and she did not manage to survive the accident. She succumbed, with her unborn baby. Sources indicated that there was a fault with the carwash machine and this resulted in the electrocution.
Three years later, life has never been the same for him. Moving on and starting a new life by rising a new family is something that has never crossed his mind. Averagely, he spends his day at work and goes back home, where he lives all by himself. Gibbons' relation with his peers is also poor. It is for this reason that he never interact with them. He never socializes with other people. He feels that life is very unfair. The death of Gibbons's wife is the cause of the depressed life of Gibbons. It is for this reason that he does the same thing every day- commuting between work and home, with no socialization. He also exhibits feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. Gibbons has also lost interest in his daily activities. Since the death of his wife, he has never cared for his former hobbies of being a golfer and social activities. It is because of this that he doesn't find any pleasure in anything.
However, Gibbons is very worried about the kind of life that he is leading. With all these luxuries he has at his disposal, with little or no responsibilities, he wonders what other people might think of him. Could he be weak? How come he could not move on after all this time? Or maybe he is selfish and doesn't want to share his wealth with others.
One of the cool Monday evenings, as he drives home from work, he decides to talk to a homeless man. An elderly street urchin by the name Burham, who lacks a place to stay, Burham is a very jovial, outgoing and happy person who seems content with life. From the conversation, Gibbons wonders why Burham is very happy in the face of problems that he encounters with his life. He, therefore, develops an interest in knowing this man. He started giving him food on a daily basis, and this becomes his routine. Burham has been living in a box outside Gibbons's apartment.
Gibbons, therefore, starts wondering why with the successful life that he lives, he does not find true happiness, and Burham on the contrary genuinely happy. He, therefore, decides to abandon his life. He no longer saw meaning in anything. The first decision that he makes is to quit his prestigious architectural job at Perkins Eastman Architectural Company. He decides to draft a letter of resignation and submits it to his boss. His boss approves this letter of resignation.
That day, when he went back home, he passed by Burham to check on him, carrying a packet full of fries and burgers. Burham was delighted to receive this. When Gibbons went to his house, the mood was the same. He, therefore, calls a friend, whom he found a companion. He, therefore, decides to give him all his wealth. He believed that through this, he would find true happiness in the meaning of life. It is at this point that he decides to seek happiness from the perspective of Burham, a homeless man. Ironically, Burham sees Gibbons as a very annoying character who is a loner and a sadist. He, therefore, does not want anything to do with him. He believes that Gibbons will never be truly happy and decides to reveal this to him.
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