W. MITCHELL wrote: “It is not what happens to you, it is what you do about it that makes the difference.” He flew an aeroplane solo and after landing was going home on a motorcycle which collided with a truck. Apart from the fracture he sustained due to the fall, the fuel tank of the motorcycle exploded causing severe burns on his body, especially his face. For the next two years, he underwent extensive plastic surgery, bone-fusion and other therapy. Still he was looking ugly.

He continued flying solo, met with an accident again and was permanently paralyzed. He met an athlete whose legs were amputed. To him he said: “Before I was paralyzed, I was doing ten thousand things, now I can only do nine thousand. The beauty is that still I can do certain things well like handling the computer, looking after myself and so on. Problems are sent to us, as gifts and some of us receive numerous such gifts. Sometimes, the same problem returns again and again until we are fully educated!”

There is a classic biology experiment called the boiled frog syndrome. A frog is placed in a pot of cold water and is heated gradually. The frog chooses to remain in hot water and slowly boils to death. The rising temperature is tolerated till death overtakes the frog. Many of us live in such environment. Today’s competitive environment heats up and we continue to sleep to remain in the comfort zone. For example, Americans have lost a large share of their car market to Japanese cars.

When people do the same job for long years they say: “It stopped being fun two decades ago.” The man who says this could be middle aged waiting to retire. In fact, he has already retired and only shows up in the office. He has no passion, creativity, only excuses. He perhaps allowed the situation to worsen until his spirit died. He became numb and allowed circumstances to determine his destiny.

When we are willing to examine our hurts, dysfunctions and decay, healing begins. We cannot solve all the problems of life; so why not transform these problems into opportunities? For example, we have lots of time on hand: why not utilize it for reading, writing social work?

T.G.L. Iyer

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