Thursday, 18 August, 2022
E-paper

With the Wind

Seasoned

Tulip Chowdhury

For humans, it takes every kind of experience to be ready to live like a seasoned traveller. The one-way path of life between birth and death has too many bumps and unpredictable happenings. Sometimes, we can guess our way forward but we cannot see the details unfolding in the future. However, when a crisis arises, one can choose to take it as a challenge, be resilient or give up and sink in the troubled water. In other words, we can be the pessimist or the optimist down life's paths with the knowledge that curves and potholes are waiting in the way.

Optimism is derived from the Latin word 'optimum' referring to the best outcome of a moment or situation. When we choose to be an optimist, we take positive thinking. The mindset has excellent health benefits besides keeping us moving on with Life. Positive people suffer less from stress, their mental and physical coping mechanisms are more robust, and they live healthier and longer. According to Philipp Reiter, “A positive mindset brings positive things.” There are things beyond our control; the world of nature, for instance, has its beautiful and cruel sides. When the expected email does not show up on the day expected, it does not mean it will never come. Hope is as long as we are well and breathing. Something not happening today may bring more significant benefits in the next few days or weeks. Positive people are patient; they hold the virtue of what we know as 'sabr'. When we keep our minds open and trust in the universal abundance, we realise the endless mercy that our Creator holds. Being hopeful is not putting one's eggs in an empty basket but a basket always filled with God's blessings.

The laughter and discords of day-to-day living are like a breeze of glad tidings in a company of hopeful people. Radiating positivity helps others around us deal with stressful situations as much as we would benefit from being in the company of optimistic people. Together we are like a warm blanket of energy to fend for each other when adversity strikes. A beautiful blue sky gets clouded and bears the brunt of summer storms. On the other side of the coin is the picture of pessimists, people drained of hope in difficult situations. To accept sorrow in life is not a sign of weakness; it is the springboard from which we gain strength to go on knowing life and its different faces. It is okay to shed tears, share sadness and grow more vital as humans.

Let's put the cards down- we all have good days and bad days. When the latter comes, there comes an automatic response from the inner self wondering why things had to happen to me/us. When we choose to go into victim mode, the suffering becomes unbearable. When we leave the sinking feeling and let go of our negative attitudes, we realise that other people around us also experience life with grains of salt and sugar. Life has a way of seasoning us with sweet, sour, bitter, and tangy tastes – in body and soul.

At times, it may be helpful to spiritually align ourselves to our surroundings—plants, animals, and other living things. We are, after all, a part of the nature that surrounds us. The trees have their shares of the sun, rain, storms, and hail. They bend and sway but try to hold on to the ground. We, too, sigh, cry when challenged and learn to move on.

The ongoing COVID-19 and its variants, the monkey-pox, war in Ukraine, and global warming list some tormenting life scenarios: can we stop living and give up because of fear? The world of science is doing its best to keep life moving; we have vaccines for the pandemic. There is hope that we shall find a peaceful solution to wars and that we can overcome all the disparity that makes a man stand against each other. Come winter, summer, or spring, the rolling world of nature teaches us to hold on and live the best we can. As Buddha, the great life teacher, said, “What you think, you become, what you feel, you attract, what you imagine, you create.”

Life example: Notice how the grass grows under the rocks, and they even peep out with the green shoots despite being weighed down by the stone. We each do our part, and life is pretty much as simple- that is on the note of the optimist.

 

Tulip Chowdhury writes from Massachusetts, USA