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Bear with Life & Life will bear with you    

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By Ratna Manucha

‘L’ is for laughter, ‘I’ for the infinite promise that life holds, ‘F’ is for facing each challenge that comes your way and ‘E’ is for your levels of endurance.

‘LIFE’ spells out life in all its wondrous forms, with all its ups and downs, highs and lows.

Look at yourself in the mirror and you’ll see how you’ve changed from that chubby cheeked, buck toothed, tousle haired angelic little child, into a man or woman of the world, all hustle and bustle, full of lofty ideas. Remember when you first opened your eyes, took your first hesitant steps, lisped your first words, first felt curiosity, glee, fear, shame, belonging, love, rejection…and the all-consuming feeling of panic when you felt yourself to be lost and out of control? Well, this is what the game of life is all about. And it’s not about whether you win or lose; it’s about how you play this game.

Life is not about the victor or the vanquished. It is about the fighter. Remember that well known dictum, ‘If you fight and run away, you’ll live to fight another day’. So the moment you give in, the battle is lost and so is the will to live.

When you’re almost reaching the end of the runway and you don’t quite know how to fly, you’re in trouble. You’ll feel the exhilarating terror just before take-off, markers whizzing by, the wheels on the runway’s asphalt turning faster and faster. One engine, one chance. Well, that’s life and when you do get a chance to live it, just go for it, full throttle. So go ahead and fly the plane of life. Don’t let it fly you, if you wish to survive, because for survival, courage is the key.

To bear with life and to help double your riches, material or intellectual, share them and watch in amazement at their increase. What would the sun have been, had it folded itself up in darkness?

One must not wait for a change of circumstances, but take them as they are and make the most of them. You might come across a man who says he longs for rest, but at the same time he does nothing to achieve that. He toils mindlessly day in and day out, waiting for his fortune to change but nothing happens. Life slips away, while the fool is dreaming of the time when he will really live. Life glides past silently, and carries away with it all the opportunities of home, leisure, happiness and love.

But again, before one learns to bear with life, one must accept the fact that reality must be faced. It does you no good whatsoever, to insist pig–headedly that you shouldn’t have to get up in the morning and that nature made a big mistake when it made people with a tendency to get fat! All these statements make no sense, because there is no earthly reason why the world should be any different from what it is. If you keep telling yourself all day long that frustrations should not exist, how are you ever going to discipline yourself against them? If you are afraid to test yourself and to experience failure, stop rationalising about why you are failing. Learn to fill your life with experiences, not excuses. Losing can have its pleasures, too, unless you have some neurotic goal to be the best at all times.

Don’t go through life, starting something, getting it nearly completed and on seeing that it is not a masterpiece, throwing it away. Losers in life are those who look for a world free of competition, a world full of black or white choices. Though in the final analysis, they would conclude that such a world is non–existent. It would be well to encourage such people to flex their decision making capabilities and to move ahead in the adventure of living, hand in hand with other brave souls.

If truth be told, life that has no risk in it is not worth living. Do whatever needs to be done in order for you to continue climbing the learning curve. Don’t watch from the sidelines. In the doing, we learn what works and what doesn’t. Life is constantly challenging us with the fact that everything can be done better.

In this day and age, we tend to think that we must always work rapidly and achieve as though we are on an assembly line in a factory. In fact, some of the greatest works of art have been done laboriously and painstakingly. But then again, it is really not possible to get on with the business of living, unless you learn to be stoic. This means that you must develop the mental attitude, whereby you can endure pain, misery, unhappiness and all kinds of frustrations. If you cave in on your goals every time, you don’t like what is happening, or you back away simply because you are experiencing discomfort, you’ll end up not getting what you want in life.

Successful living is like playing the violin. It must be practiced daily. Live life today. Don’t wait for tomorrow. For tomorrow never comes. No other word in the English language has to answer for so much sin and folly, for so many broken vows, for so many blighted hopes and so many neglected duties.

Some people waste a good deal of time grieving over the time they waste. So, look life in the eye. Live it, breathe it and most of all, be happy – happiness which lies in the little wonders, not in the big momentous events, which in all probability elude us. For if you base your happiness in a great new job, huge amounts of money or a trip to the South Pole, then you aren’t going to be happy much of the time. But, if your happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the garden or a nap, then you will live with quite a bit of happiness.

Remember –

‘For when the great scorer comes

To mark against your name,

He writes not that you won or lost,

But how you played the game!’

  • Grantland Rice

(Ratna Manucha is an author and an educationist)