Adversity introduces a man to himself

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Jun 2018 11:22:49


By T G L IYER,

 

Y ou are the greatest expert on yourself. No one knows more about your hopes, dreams, fear and foibles than you yourself. In your heart, your goals are quite clearly defined and most likely, they exist since your childhood! All of us feel the pressure of what we believe, the world expects us to do and most of us the need to compromise on what we really want from life. This is part of growing up and it is inevitable. But the danger arises when we convince ourselves that growing up means not just adjusting but abandoning what we really want and need.

It happens that when people are given a choice between joy and despair, often they choose despair. We know that mature persons are growing and they form deep, intimate relationship that are based upon unconditional regard for the uniqueness of others. Mature people become soft and affectionate because of the ups and downs they have to face while growing. They embrace change for the improvement of themselves and others. They are self-determined, good humoured and comfortable in their world with themselves and others.

All of us have only one life to lead. If we go to the grave with a list of grievances, all it means is that we did not try. Why talk about fate, chance, breaks and many other factors, when we ourselves are responsible for what happens in life. Marcus Aurelius said: “A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.” Our teacher used to say: “Great oaks don’t become great overnight.

They lose lot of leaves, branches and bark in the process of becoming great. Everything of value, beauty, majesty in the universe took time to become so. So it will be with our own growth and development. There is no overnight success in this world.” Many challenges occur in our lives. When we face them and overcome the obstacles, we derive a peculiar pleasure in using our ability and potential. We should also hope that things will get better when we move on. The trouble and tragedy is that people give-up and go home too early.

Remember, that the tide will always turn. Nature has a rest time and we also need rest time to ponder. To become productive we need rest. My mother used to say: “Why do we love babies? We like babies because they are open, innocent and vulnerable. As they open their arms and look into our eyes they are saying “Love me, I need you and I can’t make it all alone”. We all need help and if we want to climb to higher levels, we need other people, a family and friends.

As our life is a reflection of ourselves, the more love and beauty we perceive the more we are growing. Nature teaches us about flow and stagnation. A flowing river stops because of obstacles on the way, the water becomes stagnant and putrid. The same thing happens to people. We can’t be stagnant but keep moving, extending, learning. Ships last longer when they sail than when they are docked in a harbour.

We preserve anything by using it. A long healthy life is assured by staying in service. There is no happiness and fulfillment in staying stagnant. Get involved in problems and try to solve them. Prison cells and mental hospitals are crowded with people for whom things ceased to matter they managed to switch off their feelings until nothing is left. The human mind is meant to be used. Money is meant to be used; talents are meant to used. The world encourages us to get involved. More we practice, better we become.

The saying is ‘Use it or lose it’. There are two kinds of people in this world; those who never account too much; and those who cannot do what they are told. Then there are those who can do nothing else but go on working using their talents and aptitude. My father used to say: “Start right where you stand and become the master of yourself. Start now. Banish the old self as you have lived with him enough till now. Recognise and embrace the other self which can give you everything your heart craves.

Remember, that it is profoundly significant that the only thing over which you have complete control is your own mental attitude. Cultivate that attitude, use your God-given potential and reach the target with excitement and jubilation! When you love someone, you do not love him all the time in exactly the same way from moment to moment. It is on impossibility. But this is what most of us demand. So change your approach as it is possible to mix excellence with enjoyment. Anticipate the best instead of fearing the worst. The worst is over and the best is yet to come.