– Sohan Tiwade, Corporate Soft Skills Trainer, Motivational Speaker & Lecturer at Sanjay Ghodawat Institutes
“Grow old along with me/For the best is yet to be.” Those words by the Victorian Era Poet Robert Browning echo true in our times to be meditated upon when the world today is facing unprecedented times due to the Covid 19 Pandemic. From Dec 2019 when the virus raised its ugly head and then pervaded our globe, we have been under its influence now for at least 6 months and there is no sign of respite or a panacea. The industrial, corporate and educational sectors all have been worst hit due to total closure of functioning or uncertainty that we face. At such times it is easy to throw up our hands and give up. In my experience challenges either make us bitter or better and it all depends on our perspective. Here are some submissions that can help us to make a meaning out of the mess that our world is in:
Change is sure: The only thing that is sure in this world is – Change! Heraclitus the Greek philosopher said it well, “No man can step in the same river twice for by the time he steps for the second time, nor is he the same man neither is the water the same water.” We all love status quo! But if we go through history, change is inevitable. There are times when we are happy, prosperous, growing, conquering and thriving and there are times when we are gloomy, in want, receding, defeated and declining. A king asked his gold smith once to make him a magical golden ring that would help him cope with change. It would make him humble when he was proud and cheerful when he was sad. The clever gold smith gave him such ring! On it was carved the wise words – ‘This too shall pass’.
We grow through challenges: What if you always kept your baby on the comfy bed and never let it stretch it muscle or make it walk because it may fall and hurt? Well the result would be devastating and you would have a handicapped child. God’s purpose for our lives is that we grow and for that he has designed the world in such a way that it is through challenges and not without them that we grow! If we go back to history there have been down times. Approximately one hundred years ago our world was facing another pandemic – Spanish Flu. Our world has been from time to time devastated by World Wars, floods, earthquakes, Market crashes, Pandemics, Epidemics and much more. It is interesting to see that the generations that faced such challenges always came out better. That’s also true of Covid 19 virus. Today we feel it is unpleasant and creating havoc but is also rendering us an opportunity to renew ourselves and the world and emerge as better human beings.
Action not Reaction: Hannibal the Carthaginian General summed it very well, “We will either find a way or make one.” There are times when we have to step back and be wise and there are times when we have to bounce back and rise! It’s not what happens but what we do with what happens. That may sound cliché but it is true! There are businesses that are adapting to change and producing PPE kits or sanitizers. I see branded apparel companies who have come up with face masks for protection against the virus. I see restaurants who have changed to delivering food to doors, I see many of companies coming up sensor operated sanitizing machines, I see many school and college faculties going online to take classes. All these are examples of action in midst of challenges. Reaction is throwing up your hands and giving up; action is using the same hands to help ourselves as well as the less fortunate. Of course our businesses, educational institutes may suffer some financial challenges, we may have to stretch resources, careful how we spend and for what, we may have the question of retaining employees and letting go. But if we step out of dualistic thinking mindset and look for more options we are sure to find as the Bible says, “Seek and you will find…”
These are times that give us opportunity in midst of difficulty if we are willing to see it. Let me end with the Alcoholic Anonymous prayer – “God give us the patience to accept the things that we cannot change, the courage to change the thing that we can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
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