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Life’s many shades

india Updated: Mar 01, 2011 23:44 IST
PP Wangchuk
PP Wangchuk
Hindustan Times
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An ‘e-mail-friend’ keeps me posted with the latest and the best of “advice’ in the form of “sayings”. Of the many I received last week, one was this: “Life is great for those who appreciate it; difficult for those who analyse it; and horrible for those who criticise it!”

How nice and true! My reply: “You seem to be in a jovial mood today. Continue with it.” But then you might ask how can one continue with one’s happy state of mind? The answer can be found in Horace’s words: “Marvel at nothing… that can make a man happy and keep him that way.”

Okay, I can read your mind. How can one marvel at nothing and be happy? If you go deep into the philosophical aspect of the statement, you will realise that nothing that is solid and tangible matters in the journey of life. What matters is a life of satisfied mind and that allows one to be happy in all circumstances. In other words, Horace tells us that desire for things that are not everlasting can be a source of trouble and unhappiness. Desire leads to attachment and attachment leads to moral degradation. If one accepts with understanding that “what comes, must go’, then the source of attachment and unhappiness dies out.

The message is pointed: Be at peace over what you are. After all, you are unique and there is no one like you on this planet. And that alone is your greatest quality.

That, however, in no way suggests that one must give up all hopes, and that one should cease struggling for the better.

One must indeed be a rabid optimist, and struggle with the best of tools at hand. But give yourself a reminder-tag, “I have done my share of hard and good work; what happens hereafter is of least importance now.” After all, if we don’t live in today’s time-frame, who knows about tomorrow? And then always remember this from Shakespeare (Henry IV), “I think the king is but a man, as I am; the violet smells to him as it doth to me.”