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More often than not, we humans have a tendency to compare our position and circumstances to those around us. Also, taking into consideration the fact that the grass always seems to be greener on the other side, whenever we face a tough situation or a setback, thoughts like- “This is not what I deserve!” or “The world is just too harsh upon me”-instantaneously flash in our mind. The era of self pity thus begins; the mind starts to ponder upon how unfair the world is. Consequently, as a step to allay that grievance, we become soft on ourselves. Efforts die down, and the ship to destination dream is pushed back by a self-created wind.
This is one of the greatest ironies that exist in human life. We dream to reach the stars and aim to be just the tallest among the grove. Our efforts, our determination are all focused on achieving our “aim”, though, in our heads, we think that we are working on the greater goal. We even expect to actually touch the star. Disappointment, then, seems quite inevitable. This in turn prompts self-pity, and we end up being caught in its vicious cycle. We forget that there are many others stuck in the same scenario.
Whenever we self-pity, our focus unconsciously shifts from working to wailing. All the time that could actually have been utilized to better the situation is wasted on fussing upon it. Self-pity is like an analgesic-it soothes the pain, but numbs the nerves from taking action. The moment the self-pity triggers, a “perceived limit” is set. And that kills our true potential.
As grave as the obstacle may appear, it can actually be molded to function as our greatest strength.
Looking beyond the grove we live in, we will soon realize that there are millions out there waging tougher wars every day- the disabled trying to live a normal life; the cancer patients fighting off the disease with all their might; the single mom working to her last limits just to ensure a good life for her child. There are numerous examples. Some readily accept their defeat; others are not a bit daunted by it. They accept what comes their way, remove it or make the best use of it. Without a single utter of complain. They toil every moment, every day, not even stopping to give a thought to the injustice of fate. They eventually manage to reach their desired destination.
Even in the grove, there might be people who are silently handling much more difficult situations. We need to stop gauging our hard-work in relative terms, and clear out the notion that we alone are subjected to hard times. Let our ideals set the standards. A setback implies that the bar must be raised. The extra mile must be done. If we are dreaming about stars, we need to aim for the stars as well.
So, the next time, when the devil self-pity creeps us our back, all we have to remember are those inspiring examples.
As Evanescence puts it right, “You know you’re not the only one.”
This blog post is inspired by http://ajaytao2010.wordpress.com/