“Life is difficult”, thus begins the classic “The Road Less Travelled “by M Scott Peck in which the author shows that one’s life is a series of difficult choices, trials and tribulations. Life is never perfect and neither is our nature. We are bound to undergo pain, sickness, frustrations, disappointments and depressions as we move through life. While nobody in this world is exempt from difficulties the key thing is that neither should we feel defeated by our suffering nor be cowed down by it. We need to look at our problems squarely, understand and take appropriate steps to overcome them. This takes a lot of courage, insight into issues and will power. The Light of Asia, Buddha in his four noble truths expounds that life is suffering, that suffering is born of attachment, cessation of suffering is attainable and the path to cessation is based on taking the middle path given in his eight-fold path.
There are times when we feel totally helpless in the face of adversity. Adversity is God’s alchemy of the soul. We generally emerge stronger and tougher when we face life’s problems head-on. Those who look at suffering with courage coupled with clear headed thinking generally find it easier to tide over troubles as compared to those who indulge in wishful thinking or try to run away from their problems. There is a lesson for us to learn in all our suffering. Failure is better teacher than success. We have a choice to make in any situation we are faced with. In the words of, Shakespeare, it definitely is more important “to take arms against a sea of troubles, oppose and end it” than “suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”. Nothing is gained in wallowing or drowning oneself in one’s one misery.
The crux is that we need to make peace with adversity. We need to understand than we will encounter failures and disappointments in life. We should view the situation objectively and pursue the right course to action. In fact the moment we start putting into action our response to the situation the problem itself will generally disappear and we will be more in control of ourselves. When we run away from issues or try to evade them they assume a larger than life presence. In fact our imagination will run riot. Our mind will take control over ourselves and we will begin to imagine the worst outcome. So the quickest way of ending the misery is to grapple with the problem, take the wise counsel of friends and elders. We need to take the necessary counter action to mitigate the problem and pretty soon the issue will melt away.