When I checked messages this morning, a group was agog with news of the sad demise of Shri. Ananth Kumar, the MP who represented Bangalore South constituency in the Lok Sabha. I said a silent prayer, asking that his soul attain Sadgati, and continued my routine, getting ready for work.
A few minutes later, I got news of it being declared a holiday. My son also stayed home, and we had a relaxed time.
Somewhere in the afternoon, he remarked longingly, “I wish every day could be like this – eat, sleep, play football, no having to go to college.” I agreed with him first, and then doled out some homily that comes naturally to a lecturer.
But a little later, I saw this wish of my son in the light of some feedback I received from a reader on my Guddi story. Here’s what she had to say –
Pay attention to the last paragraph. What a wonderful insight this reader has shared!
Let’s do a small activity. I want you to stop reading right now, and take a minute or two to recall some major life lesson you learned in the last few months or years. Got something? Ok, now, remember the incident that triggered that learning. Done? Ok – now tell me (as in, think about it, or send me feedback after you finish reading this post) – did that learning happen in a pleasant situation or an unpleasant one?
I’m guessing – out of my own experience, and from answers I’ve got from a few people whom I’ve asked this question – that you’ll find that difficult situations have taught you deeper lessons than pleasant ones. When I’m happy, I’m engrossed in the feeling and don’t generally feel the need to dig around for what’s making me happy. When I’m unhappy, if I’m smart, I’ll start looking for the cause of my angst and see if there’s something I can change to make it go away.
Coming back to that insightful comment, I don’t mean to advocate that we go looking for negativity. But let’s not be like the proverbial ostrich burying its head in the sand – negativity does not go away by ignoring it. Let’s stand up to what causes us pain, “Face the brutes” as Swami Vivekananda exhorted, and come out winners, having learned whatever lessons that unpleasant situation was meant to teach us.