We all remain happy and motivated in good times. But no one can say when we may have to face bad times. In fact, life is a series of good and bad times and in a meaningful life they both have to be faced with equanimity. While it is easier to face good times with calmness, it is not so in bad times. The real test of our inner growth is in bad times only. But if we believe that bad times help us to grow internally, we can not only face them with calm, we can also win over them. I have a very glaring example of this fact, which I am narrating here. I had a friend who was a member of an important central service and we were together in the training course at Mussorie in the mid-seventies. Our friendship continued thereafter also and we remained in touch with each other.
I found him a very smart, competent and good person. He had a very co-operative wife and two bright sons. His life was going on smoothly when bad times shrouded him all of a sudden. Firstly, he contracted a nerve disease, which made him almost immobile as well as speechless. While this disease was in progress his elder son got murdered. The family was contesting this case with a lot of courage but during the course of trial, my friend also passed away. This left his wife alone with her younger son.
One can imagine the severity of the situation for the lady. I visited her one evening at her residence when she shared with me the challenge she was facing. I had always admired the courage she had shown till then, but that day she was somewhat nervous. When I was about to leave, she said that at times she feels that she is on the verge of breaking down and wants to give up the fight in the face of adverse circumstances. While a normal person would have done that much earlier, doing so after having gone so far in her fight against adversity did not appear appropriate to me. I also knew that it was only a transient phenomenon and a proper encouragement or support at that stage would give her the strength to fight her full battle. Suddenly, an idea came to my mind which I shared with her. The idea was that adversity should not be allowed to win by default and it should be given a full fight even if we don’t feel strong enough to face it. Hearing these words she seemed to have regained her will power and determination to fight the battle till the end. This was amply reflected in her body language also.
Few days later, she told me over phone about the positive impact these words had on her. I was extremely gratified to receive this response. Thereafter, I kept full track of the events which followed in the whole struggle and how boldly and wisely she fought with the negative forces of the system. The final outcome was uncertain till at last the whole nation celebrated the day when she came out as a winner. Certainly, she rose above her adversity and defeated it with her firm resolve.
It will not be correct to presume that merely my words were a source of strength to her. Many help a courageous person and the maximum help comes from Nature. Perhaps, in her case, she refused to give a walkover to her adversity and fought with it till the last. The outcome was mainly on account of that fight.