By T G L IYER :
Pythagoras who lived a little more than 500 years before Jesus Christ and whose genius ushered in the golden age of Greece taught his disciples to live for the day only. He urged them never to worry about anything especially what was over and done with which never can be undone! One of his most famous saying was “Leave not the mark of the pot upon the ashes”. In other words, wipe out the past, forget it, start the day afresh. It was the only way to achieve the peace of the contented mind. Long before Pythagoras, Buddha called it equanimity, Epicurus called it tranquility and poet Whittier called it the harvest song of inward peace. And the verdict of the ages is that nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Live for the day only and for the day’s work.
The chief worries of life arise from the foolish habit of looking before and after. Thomas Carlyle had written “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance but to do what lies clearly at hand”. The load of tomorrow added to that of yesterday carried today, make the strong falter. Waste of energy, mental distress, nervous worries affect the steps of man who is anxious about the future. The philosophy and way of life, you may learn to drive the straight furrow and come to the true measure of man. One should count each day as separate life. Whatever the future will unfold will be sweet and enjoyable merely because we can’t change it in anyway.
Whatever life offers little or much is now the day, this hour, this moment! We all want to gain emotional poise. Remember, the hourglass, the grains of sand dropping one by one, the crowded hours come always one moment at a time. Most of us think ourselves as standing wearily and helplessly at the centre of a circle bristling with tasks, burdens, problems, annoyance and responsibility which are rushing upon us. At every moment we have many things to do and if we avoid doing it, it remains asit is.Thisis a common mental picture and, in fact, many of the problems we think of never happen. Remember, that the crowded hours always came one by one. Finish each day and be done with it we have done what we could; some blunder and absurdities. Forget them, as soon as possible, because fresh problems are waiting. Tomorrow is a new day and we shall begin it well and serenely.
Changes occur and we can’t stop them. Changes are better because anyway we are not enjoying the present. Vincent Van Gogh the famous Dutch Painter said: “The best way to know God is to love many things. Expect trouble as a part of life and when it comes hold your head high! The more we allow others to exercise power over us, the more we lose touch with ourselves. Once lost, it is difficult to retrieve personhood. No one is given life to willingly relinquish it on command.”
Most of us are taught from an early age to pay more attention to signals coming from other people than from within. We are encouraged to ignore our needs and wants and concentrate on living up to other’s expectations. My teacher used to say “If you feel insecure, it is better to call up that little child within us and help him to grow-up! When you look for the good in others, you discover the best in yourself. We should feel with our heads and think with our hearts. Remember, that nothing of lasting value happens without conflict and struggle”.
Children play just for joy. Adult games are structured and have defined rules and are played to win. There is no striving to win when we are playing for fun. Play is an Act of insurrection in a dehumanised world. Play is to have fun, amusement outside the realm of intellect. When we do this, we discover the positive side of ourselves. Highest form of love comes by transcending the self and focussing on the deeds of others. Focussing outward is the secret, not conceiving oneself with self-actualisation. We don’t get happiness as a result of getting something we don’t have. Recognising and appreciating what we do have is happiness. Oscar Wilde said: “Keep love in your hsseart.
A life without it is like a sunless garden where the flowers are dead. Most of us remain strangers to ourselves hiding who we are and ask other strangers hiding who they are. Growth is the only evidence of life. One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears by listening to them. Most of us dwell on our failures instead of getting over it. We are ourselves responsible to detach from the past and live with hope in the future.