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Monday, 12 November 2018

NaBloPoMo 2018: Day 12: Are you being an ostrich?

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.


  1. Absolutely. Life is a mixed bag. It is up to us to chose how we learn what we learn. Or do we ignore the fact leading to learn and remain insufferables.

    1. Good point, Shilpa - we remain in suffering, and then, sometimes,become insufferable for the people around us ;-)

  2. In the past few months or years, what I have really seen n understood is that, most of the moments in our life are happy and since we take it for granted, we never take any learning from it. When a negative moment jolts us, only then we stop and look around us.
    So in short, my opinion is when we start looking for a learning in a happy situation, it takes us one step higher. That's y everyone is attracted by Anu mam's writing. SHe offers a learning in a positive situation too and it takes us higher and orients us to do the same always. But the learning which we look for during a negative situation, it keeps us from falling a level lower. Those who never take any learning even from a negative situation, they ll fall lower and lower in their awareness , self esteem, thoughts, etc etc...

    1. Wow, I never realized someone would look at my writing from such a perspective - it comes as a genuine surprise to me! I'm feeling very humbled by this thought. Your name doesn't show, so I don't know who has written this, but whoever you are, thank you so much for jolting me - in a positive way - and leaving me with yet another learning :-)


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