I Learned

And so I am in India where my first week was greeted by protesting women and a dreary chill which I can barely categorize as a likely weather. Now an hour has passed since that clock struck 12 and just to start my 2013 right, I decided to write about the things I have learned in the previous year.

closing cycles

I learned that when it’s over, we all have to flip that page and write a new chapter. It’s necessary to accept the cold truth (accept because we have always known what it looked like in the first place) and deal with it, with as much grace that we can muster. We have to stop making excuses, delaying the inevitable, or dressing up the truth because at some point, we might just lose that last remaining ounce of happiness left.

I learned that really holding back does not mean holding back once, but one hundred times more. Although it is important to win an argument or to get what you fairly bargained for, anger should never be used as a resort when you have had enough of the lies. Even if you are within your rights, even if you were wronged – bite your tongue and let the world do its will. Things will eventually fall into its place, just be patient.

I learned that no man should ever give up on his dreams – be it impossible, illogical, and plainly out-of-anyone’s-wits. The world is filled with endless possibilities and I daresay that anything can happen as long as you believe in it. You will be given opportunities but you have to take strides and take risks. No one ever gets anywhere if he doesn’t take a step towards somewhere. Don’t be afraid to take chances, even 80-year olds courageously leave their comfort zones to experience great adventures.

I learned that family is family. You may hate your cousin’s guts, your mother’s nagging, your sister’s inability to make practical decisions, or generally, your family’s past but these same people will be the home you will look for when confronted by unfamiliarity. Blood, as the common saying goes, is always thicker than water and your family will always take your side no matter how oblique it will turn out.

I learned that achieving happiness requires as much effort as earning a diploma. You have to work hard because true happiness will never be served on a silver platter. If you need to put on a brave smile, hop on a train, or probably write a 60-page curriculum then you have to do it. But when you do it, do it with a willing heart and a genuine intention of sharing the happiness with other people. Don’t just do it for yourself nor because you were manhandled to do so, else your happiness will be short-lived.

I learned that you do not need to confine yourself in one church (nor in one religion) to find God. God is in everything around you – in your family who never doubted your immeasurable capacity to help, in friends who support your walk towards change, in strangers who bluntly look you in the eye just for the heck of it, in blooming flowers at a neighbor’s uncouth patch of land, even in dark corners where light bulbs have been butchered for desperate reasons. God is everywhere and it is up to you to unveil the sheathe which blinds you from realizing that He never left your side in the first place.

I learned that the world is filled with sorrow yet many find means to overcome their sorrows. This is why it is important to stop whining and consider yourself blessed. If you still don’t think so then try asking yourself these questions: Can you read or write? Do you eat two or three decent meals a day? Do you have at least one, usable pair of shoes? Do you have a bed that you can sleep on? Do you have a house you can go home to? Do you have a job? Do you have at least have one identification card? Have you been cared for by a physician? Try asking yourself these questions, maybe you might just change your mind.

I learned that love is never over-rated. Love, in whatever form, is our best weapon against anything that will bring our destruction and without it, we will not be capable of anything.

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So to everyone who is reading this, I hope you too will learn from this and welcome the new year with the hope that the world stands a chance as long as there are good people around and that every waking day is worth living for.

Happy 2013 everyone.

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