Cultivating strength amid misfortune | Deccan Herald

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The quality of resilience too can go a long way amidst situations like the pandemic or any personal misfortune

Our history is full of stories of endurance amidst troubled times. There have been people who have survived through the worst of situations. The same boiling water that softens the potato, hardens the egg. It is always what you are made of, and not the circumstances, that matter. As Gandhiji said, “Strength does not imply physical capacity but an indomitable will” to go on against all odds.

The quality of resilience too can go a long way amidst situations like the pandemic or any personal misfortune. A resilient person is one who has the belief in his capacity to overcome the adversity that has befallen him. A stretched rubber band let free, contracts to its original size. A person with resilience realises that the past cannot be undone and the only recourse is to move forward stoically.

The word “stoically” especially applies to a parent losing a child or a person losing his/her beloved. Death seems cruel and harsh reality when the person you love is no longer physically present. But the Lord says in the Gita that the soul is immortal and the body is but akin to a garment, prone to the results of usage.

So why be sad when that which is temporary in the first instance is gone or worn out? The lucky few take the earlier bus while a few are made to wait for their turn. It is believed that the soul in the eternal realm seeks to guard and bless its loved ones in the material world. One should gain strength with this assurance in one’s heart. 

Each one’s karma is separate and to be worked out individually to reach the ultimate goal of ridding oneself of the baggage of ‘prarabdha’ karma, which is to be shed in the current birth. Bruce Lee, the martial art legend who died early said, “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” It is said that the more a person endures hardships with equanimity the more he becomes dearer to God.

However illogical it may seem, in a way, the hardships help the soul shed a part of its baggage. These should be borne with fortitude and the belief that God has plans for one’s wellness, just as a parent plans for the good of his or her child.

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