Children, when we encounter problems in life, we must not allow them to overwhelm us. Behind each problem, there is a means to surmount it, too. Understanding this, we must continue striving. We must regard the obstacles as consequences of actions done in a past life. Or, we could empower the mind to accept whatever happens as God’s will. Only then can we move ahead. If not, we won’t find even one trouble-free moment in life. Often, the most trivial matter can make us dejected. We must be able to gather enough strength to overcome it and move ahead. Only one who strives to succeed faces defeat. Therefore, while taking the path to success, we must face the obstacles we encounter with a smile and forge ahead. We must never give in to despair. If we do so, we won’t succeed.

One story to illustrate this goes like this –

A man started his own business and incurred a huge loss. In order to offset the loss, he borrowed money and continued his business. Even then, he failed. Deep in debt, the man decided to end his life, and walked to the beach. Having decided to jump into the sea after dark, he sat down on a boulder.

He then noticed some children playing. They were building temples and castles using wet sand. They fashioned various forms according to their fancy. After they had finished building their temples, castles and other edifices, they would stand back to admire their own handiwork. However, from time to time, their creations would be washed away by waves. Seeing this, the children would clap gleefully and laugh joyfully. When the waves retreated, the children would once again run forward to begin moulding new sculptures. The very next moment, waves would wipe clean all their work. Seeing this, the children would squeal in joy and flee the waves. And then, they would return and begin their work yet again. In a second or two, the waves would wash away what had taken them considerable time to erect. The children would enjoy watching the un-doing of all their efforts with the same attitude with which they had admired their creations earlier.

The man watched all this with great wonder. He saw how much the children appreciated each sculpture they erected, and at the same time, how they did not lose heart when the sculptures were washed away. Actually, every loss inspired the children to create their next sculpture. None of them cried over the sand castles they had lost; nor did they become dejected and leave. Watching them running even more enthusiastically to create their new sculptures filled the man with joy.

Having seen this, the man, who had earlier decided to end his life, thought, “After facing just one setback, I was ready to end my very life. But these children laugh wholeheartedly when the sea snatches away the beautiful sand-sculptures they created so painstakingly. What a pity I don’t have as much expansiveness of mind as these children! Instead of wallowing in defeat, they make renewed attempts to turn their losses into gains. Such is their ability and attitude that they remain joyous always. This is a lesson one ought to learn and share with others.” Reflecting thus, the man gave up his plan to kill himself, and resolved to continue striving harder.

The point here is not that one should rejoice in loss, but that one should not despair even when faced with defeat. The waves of life will wash away our efforts and their results. Nevertheless, we must not despair or retreat. Instead, we must try even harder to move ahead. It is enough if we have this attitude. We will then be able to move ahead without giving in to despair. Our lives will then be beneficial to others as well. We can gain immense satisfaction from this.

Source: Matruvani, December 2017

About the author