Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Debate on 'Man is the maker of his own destiny'

This is the need of the times we live in. Many a misfortune can be averted through understanding. Life can be a better proposition, and living, indeed a pleasure!

Life is an art,
A mountain of troubles,
In your troubles, don't cry,
You should only try and try,
Conquer the heaven, and repulse the hell,
With your skill,
And power of will!

Life is an incessant struggle where weak men wait for circumstances, but strong men make them. History bears witness that most of the great men began life with next to nothing. Abraham Lincoln couldn't afford a lamp to read, but rose to become the President! Kaidasa was illiterate and Valmiki was a decoit, before they became popular literary figures! Japan was a devastated nation after the World War, but has risen from ashes to riches by the never-say-die attitude of its people! Does anyone still doubt that man can make a heaven of hell ?

Just like herbs give their sweet fragrance when crushed, so a man of virtue shines brighter when pressed with difficulties. Face life with enthusiasm, optimism, courage and patience. Then the mountains of difficulty will disappear like the fog before the rising sun. True merit is rewarded by heaven and earth alike.

It is well said, "Strength lies in the mind, not in the body!" Isn't it amazing that Sudha Chandran was handicapped, but became an accomplished dancer! Demosthenes used to stammer, but became a great orator! Monika Seles was stabbed by a fan, but made a come back in tennis! Wilma Rudolph was crippled for one third of her life, but created Olympic history in athletics! When Augustus came to power, Rome consisted of a few huts here and there; but he transformed it into the most beautiful city on earth! China was steeped in illiteracy and was over-populated, but within years of its independence it became prosperous! Nelson Mandela spent years in prison, before he could abolish Apartheid! Napolean conquered Alps, in the face of heavy odds! Eklavya mastered the art of archery, with the mere statue of his Guru! The list is unending...

Swami Vivekananda has rightly said, "You can do anything and everything. Faith, faith in yourself, and faith in God. This is the secret of greatness!" Most of us fail in our aim because after a few half hearted attempts, we lie prostrate. One must remember the message of the Upnishad, "Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is achieved!"

The timid man goes on calculating, doesn't learn from his mistakes, and ultimately ruins his happy life. George Villliars, the Duke of Buckingham, was a spendthrift. He died miserably as a pauper! Even to this day, men like Hitler, Nero, Changez Khan, are condemned; as they inflicted gross crime against humanity! Kabul was once a Westernized city. With the rule of steel and fear, the Talibans made it a virtual hell!

Thus, Will is the force behind all good and evil. But it seems that opponents of this theory believe that 'what has been fated, can't be blotted!' and 'he, who never climbs, never falls!' They should know that misfortune are like knives: If you hold them by the blade, they cut you; but if you hold them by the handle, they serve you! Here, I would repeat, what G.B. Shaw once remarked - "People always blame circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The men who get on this world, are the men who look out for circumstances they want. And, if they can't find them, they make them!"

One must remember that God helps those who help themselves. The Goddess of Fortune shines on those whose hands have been coarsened with labor and not on those who only lay their soft hands for prayers. Thus, man's duty is to maintain an un-shaking will and forgo all temptations to achieve the impossible. After all, 'kites fly against, and not with the winds' and 'success never comes before work, except in a dictionary.'

To conclude, life is what you make it. Life's battles do not always got o the mightiest. But sooner or later, the man who wins, is the man who thinks he can.To end, I'll quote a line from Panchtantra -
"Disaster doesn't threaten a man of sterling worth,
Who offers helpful counsel, in heaven or on earth!" 
( For the Motion: The man in his own place and himself can make a hell of heaven, a heaven of hell)

PS: Picture courtesy Google. 

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