The gift

In contemporary India, there lived an educated professional.

He was a very sensitive person. Because of his over-sensitive nature, he was torn between satisfaction and depression.

On the one hand, he was satisfied that he could educate himself to such a level where his peers, superiors, and society have taken note of his knowledge and accomplishments but on the other hand, he felt depressed because his surroundings did not behave as per his wish and expectations.

Even the smallest behaviors of others gave him an intense emotional reaction, and his satisfaction would turn into disappointment and depression.

One day, his childhood best friend, a socially well-respected man, who did not do good in academics but was running his business in the village, came to see him.

The childhood friend got quite a reputation in the village of being a happy + wise + +successful man.

One day, the childhood friend came to see his professional friend.

The professional said to him, “I want to be an always-happy +successful man like you. If you can teach me that I will be happy to pay whatever the fees may be.”

The childhood friend said, “I think I will be able to help you, but I don’t think you have enough money to pay my fees, but since you are my dear friend, I will give it to you as a gift if you pay 100% of your attention to it.”

the gift - utpal vaishnav

The professional’s ego got little hurt, but he respected his childhood friend, so he assured that he would pay 100% attention to the gift.

On the next day, the childhood friend brought a copper-belt for him. The belt had the following sentence written, “This too shall pass.”

“What is the meaning of this?” The professional asked. The childhood friend replied, “Always wear the belt. No matter the situation, before you conclude something as good or bad, pause for 5 seconds and read the sentence.”

If the situation is terrible, you will be able to disconnect with the discomforting thought and reach a mental state which would be filled by hope.

“A mind filled by hope cannot be depressed,” said the childhood friend. “I see that you have possibly the best of material pleasures, but your body language shouts that you are depressed. The precise reason I came to meet you was that I got to know that you, my dear friend, were in emotional trouble.”

So even if you had not asked for help, I would have given it to you. That’s what friends do.

No fear, no hope

“It isn’t the events themselves that disturb people, but only their judgments about them.” ~ Epictetus

Oh, you worked so hard for this.

You put in your every possible effort to reach to where you are. Still, you’re not where you wanted to be.

What’s more, you gave your time, a part of life which you are not going to get back no matter what and what you expected was nothing too demanding but …

But still, it does not seem to serve the purpose for which it was all done.

Enter Stoicism, let it go. Let it go because that’s not within your control or influence.

Oh yes, it breaks your heart. It brings the rivers of tears in your eyes. That’s hard. That’s not fair. Yet, you must …

You must accept what is outside your control or influence.

If you feel helpless, then you feel helpless. There may be nothing you can do about the event.

If you accept yourself being helpless, then you might be able to do something about the situation. Or you might not be. Whatever it is, that’s the reality.

The reality is strange. There’s nothing to fear. There’s nothing to hope. So, just accept and act!

You let go of all what’s not working (accept) and see if there’s something that you can do something about.

And do it (act).