As children, we were obsessed with fairytales. All these fairytales would end with the quote, ‘And they lived happily ever after.’
Beauty transforms the beast into a prince and marries him to live happily ever after. Cinderella marries a prince, escapes from the horrifying clutches of her stepmother, and lives happily ever after. The frog revives his handsome physical stature after kissing a woman, marries her and lives happily ever after.
All these fairytales, and many more, have just taught us one thing: life is all happy and peaceful once you solve a problem in life. But is that even possible? For instance, let us look at the possible events after Cinderella and the Prince got married. The fairytale said that Cinderella married the Prince and became the queen of a big kingdom. Wars were inevitable in those days. Losing in a war could have led to the looting of all royal treasures. Royals could have been taken in as slaves or killed mercilessly. This condition of constant fear that royals faced at that time would have been new to a simple girl like Cinderella.
She would have been stressed due to constant worrying. If a simple girl such as Cinderella were to become the queen of a kingdom, the number of insecurities she’d have had to face regularly would have drained her emotionally. Now does her life seem like a happily ever after? Nah!
Thinking practically, she could never have felt constant happiness. Growing up, my parents said that life would become sorted once I ace Class 10. I put in all my efforts and got good marks. Further ahead, people said that clearing entrance exams and getting into a reputed college would end all hard work. I worked hard and secured admission in a college where all my professors kept repeating that working hard for four years will get me a placement and I would be able to enjoy life after that.
I started working, and the infinite loop of certifications, meeting deadlines, giving presentations and switching technologies did not stop. Looking ahead practically, my life seems more difficult henceforth. I was depressed after having faced so many challenges and the failures that came with them.
Life is a balance of all kinds of moments. Life is meant to be full of challenges and problems. Momentary satisfaction is a reward you receive once you clear a challenge in life. But within no time, you are going to be hit by a new challenge. You might have to reattempt some of these challenges. You might complete some in the first attempt. You might have to reattempt all of them again.
For most people after death, their gravestone reads: ‘Rest in Peace’, implying that life is never going to let you rest in peace. It is only with death that challenges and problems come to a stop. Most people forget to enjoy small moments in life and end up expecting a happy life once they have completed their responsibilities.
It is high time we start teaching our children that a ‘happily ever after’ does not exist. There is no such challenge after which you are going to be happy or at peace. Experience and live happy moments in between life’s challenges. Life is a never-ending process that can only stop with death. Expect problems and become strong to face them.