By T G L IYER :
View every temporary defeat as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. Every problem you solve, every obstacle you overcome, puts you that much closer to achieving your final goal. If you try to anticipate every problem in advance, if you worry about everything that could go wrong before you even begin, you will never try anything. Life is a lot like climbing a mountain. If you expect to get from the base to the summit in a few easy steps, you will become quickly discouraged and give-up. But if you are prepared mentally and physically to climb to the top you certainly will! When you stumble and fall, you will dust yourself off and climb back to the spot where you slipped before, and you will pass it. You will keep doing that till you reach the top. Then you will search for bigger and higher mountains to climb. The late Dr. Kenneth mcfarland, a great speaker once likened life to an automobile trip.
If you think about the danger of a long trip and if you think about meeting all those other cars that are travelling at high speed, you will never have the courage of leaving the comfortable home and undertaking the trip. But you don’t go through life that way. You do it a mile at a time and an hour at a time and a day at a time. Life is a gradual ascend, one step at a time, and you reach the target in the end. You always meet temporary setbacks in life. You can overcome them one at a time and learn from the experience, so that you don’t make the same mistake again. When I was in the Police, my Boss told me that if you are afraid to face a violent mob, you will never know what is mob control. When you face a real violent mob throwing missiles at the Police, you will know how to defend and how to disperse the mob. Everything in life depends in taking the risk and preparing for a possible victory.
While it may be difficult to recognise the cause of temporary failure, while you are still angry with the wounds you sustained, such setbacks are usually due to one or two reasons. One may be material loss such as wealth, position or property or it may be due to death of a relative friend or an acquaintance or it may be spiritual due to failure from within ourselves. But we can overcome and learn from these setbacks because ultimately victory is ours if we don’t withdraw and cry about failure! Time stops for no one. You may get grey hair or become old and these are natural happenings. Pursue what you want in life with vigour and vitality. Time stops for no one. Mental powers increase with age and if it does not, it only means that you are not using your mind. Michael Angelo produced masterpieces at the age of 89. Voltaire wrote Candide at 65. Rabindranath Tagore started painting at the age of 70.
Growing old is natural but what you do and create is your own effort and masterpiece! Think of the weakness of childhood. Think of the impetuosity of youth. Again think of seriousness of middle age or the maturity of old age. We must stand against old age. We must fight against disease, forgetfulness, depression and frustration. Adopt moderate exercise like walking, try to keep the mind healthy, have plenty of rest and good sleep! Pour oil into the dying lamp to keep it burning and giving light. Remember, that in the young man, there is something of old. In an old man there is something of youth left. Intelligent reflection and judgement reside in the old men. Old age is consummation of life. The harvest of old age is the recollection and abundance of blessings previously secured. Mahatma Gandhi was killed in 1948 but his message continues to live.
Each part of life has its own significance. Each has its own abundance. We may grow old in Body but we never grow old in mind and spirit! How to attain happiness is different in young and old people. There are many second chances if we fail once. Don’t give-up hope till the last breath. Ninety two may look old but I don’t feel old at all. The mind is working, physically it may be weak but there are many ways to keep the body young. Coming birthday is another birthday like any other. The rest of life is ahead as decided by the God. The best of life is already ahead further on. The shadows of evening may lengthen but the fresh morning is still with me. Age is only a quality of mind and a number. Remember, that from life, you can grab the Best!