March ahead even in defeat  

The waves of life will devour all our efforts and the fruits of those efforts. When that happens, we should neither despair nor retreat. Instead, we should strive even harder to move ahead. 

Published: 25th July 2021 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th July 2021 02:56 PM   |  A+A-

Free Falling

Children, when there are problems in our lives, we should not let despair overcome us. The silver lining of success will be right behind the dark clouds of failure. We must understand this, and be prepared to forge ahead. Alternatively, we should be able to see the obstacle as the result of deeds done in a previous life. If not that then, our minds should be able to accept what happened as God’s will. Only then can we move ahead. There is no life without problems.

Often, all it takes is something insignificant to happen for us to get upset. We must be able to gain enough strength to get over it and move on. Only those who strive to succeed will have to confront defeat. Therefore, we must be able to face the obstacles along the path to victory with a smile and stride ahead. We should never succumb to despair. If we give up, we will never succeed.

Once, a man went into business and sustained a huge loss. To minimise his losses, he borrowed money and tried to continue with his business. Eventually, he lost that money too. Finally, the man who was by then mired in debt decided to commit suicide and walked towards the seashore. Having decided to jump into the sea after it had become dark, he sat down on a boulder. Some children were playing there. They were using wet sand from the seashore to build temples and castles.

They gave shape to their fancies and created various forms. When they had finished building the temples, castles and other objects, the children took turns stepping back and admiring their handiwork. However, waves would come ashore from time to time and swallow their creations. Seeing this, the children would clap their hands and laugh gleefully. When the waves had receded, the children would run forward and start sculpting various objects yet again. The next moment, waves would come and yet again knock down whatever they had made. Even then, the children would dash away from the waves, hooting loudly. They would then return again to resume their play.

The forms they had taken a long time to mould would within moments be wiped away by the waves. The children would watch their creations being washed away with the same air of joy as they would in admiring their handiwork. The man looked on in amazement. The children had gained immense pleasure from every object they had created. All the same, they had not become upset when the objects were destroyed. Actually, every loss had become an impetus for creating the next object. None of the children had cried over the loss of their sand sculptures. They had not retreated in defeat either. Joyful indeed was the sight of the children running forward with even greater enthusiasm to create new objects.

Watching all this, the man who had been planning to end his life thought, “When I encountered a single instance of defeat in life, I was ready to throw my life away. But these kids, they laugh out loud when the ebb tide leaves with the beautiful sculptures they had taken so long to create from the sand. What a pity I don’t have even as much expansiveness of mind as these children! Instead of despairing over their losses, these children try again, thus transforming their loss into a gain. This ability and attitude ensure that they are always joyful. This is one lesson to be learnt and practiced in life.”

Thinking in this manner, the man abandoned his plan to die and returned, resolving to try harder. This does not mean that one should take pleasure in losing what one has, but that one should not succumb to despair even when one encounters defeat.The waves of life will devour all our efforts and the fruits of those efforts. When that happens, we should strive even harder to move ahead. It is enough if we have this outlook. We will then be able to stride ahead. Our lives will become beneficial to others. In this way, we can experience total satisfaction.

The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader and humanitarian

India Matters


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