It was a beautiful morning and as a large family we were heading out for a weekend getaway few towns away. What was supposed to be a three hour journey became a five hour one; not primarily due to the frequent stops for breakfast or drive breaks but as a courtesy of flat tire, a broken jack and water logged areas on the way. Although the delay was significant, the dark clouds of anger were kept at bay and heavy dose of optimism were sprinkled by both sets of grandparents. Finally on reaching the cabin, contemplating on the events of the morning; endless blame could have been laid on the spouses or nature, unfortunate timing and other equivalent terminology of “bad luck”. Instead problems were tackled as they came along and the mood of the day remained lighthearted.
“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.” Voltaire
Looking back on the day-to-day life, there will be countless situations wherein one may encounter negative emotions and minor setbacks, either in the daily routine or when starting off something new. At times, one tends to over-analyze each and every deemed “ill luck” instead of going ahead and taking life as it approaches. Giving unnecessary importance to the emotions of that moment, instead of reacting to them with practicality tends to turn the best moments and right opportunities to missed ones.
“Concern yourself more with accepting responsibility than with assigning blame. Let the possibilities inspire you more than the obstacles discourage you.” Ralph Marston
Although everything in life that happens has a purpose or meaning; getting trapped by the emotions of event results in far more negative effects than positive ones. Instead as Tao had said, one defines good or bad in relation to how one approaches it. All the unfortunate events have a silver lining, once we remove the black cover covering it. Instead of listening perpetually to the voices around oneself, use the inner voice and optimism to tackle each “unfortunate and lucky” moments that life has in store for each one of us. Each one of us have the sole responsibility of deciding whether to let the ill luck run its course in free fall or face the bad as they come and use it to tackle tomorrow and make the latter better than the yesterday.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Viktor Frankl
One day while working out in the fields the farmer’s son fell and broke his leg. The villagers came to the farm and said, ‘My, that’s a great misfortune. Your son has broken his leg: now he can’t help you in the fields.’ The farmer said, ‘It is neither a fortune nor a misfortune.’
A day later, the government troops came to the village looking for young men to conscript into the army. They had to leave the boy behind because his leg was broken. Again, the villagers came to the farm and said, ‘My, that’s a great fortune.’ The farmer replied, ‘It is neither a fortune nor a misfortune.’
Then one day the farmer’s only horse jumped the fence and ran away. The villagers came to the farm and said, ‘What a great misfortune that your horse has run away.’ The farmer said, ‘It is neither a fortune nor a misfortune.’ Two or three days later, the horse came back with a dozen wild horses following behind him. The villagers came to him and said, ‘It’s a great fortune that your horse came back with twelve others.’
The farmer replied, ‘It is neither a fortune nor a misfortune.’
As the teaching of the Tao goes, “nothing is long or short, hot or cold, good or bad.”
– Lesson from The TAO TE CHING written by Lao Tzu
“Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home… it’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.” Chuck Palahniuk