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OPINION: The other side of adversity

Life is far from being a bed of roses.  Indeed, it is fraught with twists and turns, tribulations and struggles. Good times never last as life is a full circle and it has its share of ups and downs.  It is up to every individual to cope with difficult situations, make the best of every opportunity that comes his way and sort out problems as best as he can.  If you think deeply and out of the box you will find out that there is opportunity in every adverse circumstance that life brings along. Job loss, death of a loved one, a brush with death, life-threatening diseases, extreme poverty are some of the most common forms of adversity and they do shake to the core those who face same.

 “Rough seas make better sailors” is a saying which sounds true in many respects. Adversity helps to make us better individuals.  It forges our character and instils in us virtues like patience, perseverance, humility, compassion and a sense of debrouillardise. It is those who have known very tough times who are more loving, forgiving and considerate and to them happiness lies in being kind and helpful towards others.

Often, it is these people who strive to contribute to the world and make it a better place to live in. They do not hanker after name, fame or material possessions and they are the first to demonstrate unconditional love, give a helping hand and lend an attentive ear to those who are bogged down by challenging situations. Just have a look around you at social workers and other committed people who relentlessly try to improve the lot of others and advocate the cause of the most vulnerable groups of society without expecting nothing in return. You will observe that most of these generous souls have gone through much hardship in life and instead of becoming bitter, they have turned into beautiful individuals who are resolved to make a difference in others’ life and do not hesitate to share whatever they have with the needy. Let me to give you a few examples.  Those whose dear ones have been afflicted with serious diseases are the ones who set up NGO’s to help and support those who are facing the same ordeal as theirs. The ones who have known the pangs of hunger are those who devote their time and resources to alleviate poverty and empower helpless people.

In the same breath, it is often adversity which gives birth to a piece of art. Very often, the most beautiful pieces of art be it music, painting or literary works are the creations of those who have translated their deep feelings and emotions into their art. Every one, and especially an artist thinks that whatever happens to him or her happens for a purpose and he can hence mould his experiences and misfortunes into a piece of art.

An easy life does not help us to give the best of ourselves to the world. On the contrary, it encourages us to remain in our comfort zone and prevents us from exploring new avenues, developing our hidden potential and leading a meaningful life. 

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