Things to do when the clouds of despair siege you:
Take a deep breath.
Remember the occasion when a stranger helped you find your way or help arrived in unexpected ways.
Open old books and search for the flowers you kept there. You gave abode to dead flowers in your book when nature had discarded them.
Remember the day when a seed sown by you grew into a tree. You gave life to something that had paramount significance.
Remember that night when you shared your food with a homeless person struggling for food. Remember that strand of humanity in you.
Remember the day, you smiled at a sad person or when you made a dejected person laugh, when you helped them forget their sorrow for a minute.
Remember the exam you cleared without studying. Think about the day you helped your friends with maths. You chose friendship over competition.
Think about that relationship you resuscitated by forgiving the other person. Think about the magnanimity of your heart.
Remember the day you visited a friend of different faith at their festival and the vigorous smile on their face for being acknowledged for their culture.
Remember the day you offered your seat to that needy woman in public transport and the strength of your character.
Remember the day someone confessed their love for you and how special you were made to feel. It’s okay it didn’t work out the way you wished. Perhaps, it ended in a terrible way, but you handled it with beauty and grace.
Remember the day you expressed care for someone in a tacit way.
Remember the day you gave your brand new favourite t-shirt to your best friend.
Remember the day you acted justly and when your impartial judgement gave a sigh of relief to someone.
Remember the day you made a compelling statement against prejudice and when you took a stand for your friend when they become a victim of discrimination.
Remember the day you outgrew that toxic habit, the destructive approach that hampered your growth.
Remember the day you taught your niece how to write ‘A’.
Remember the day you behaved politely with the elderly couple you met on the train and helped them lift their luggage.
Remember the day you listened to a friend who was deeply in despair, and when you felt their pain in your heart and extended a helping hand.
Remember the day you swallowed your anger and reciprocated evil with kindness.
No failure, no rejection, no unemployment, no heartbreak, no divorce is ever powerful enough to destroy you. The agony only arrives when we don’t behave empathetically towards such people. When we do not reach out to them in an hour of need. When we unknowingly tarnish their self-esteem. When we don’t consider them worthy enough until some authority confirms their greatness (Bill Watterson). When they don’t have material achievements to flaunt. When people can’t see their worth. When their values and their ethos are overlooked. When we associate material possessions with triumph. When we take rejection personally. When we compete with others not to become a good human but to become richer. When the aim of education is a job and not an inclusive growth of personality and character.
But if you have done any of the aforementioned things in your life, then know that you are victorious. In the eyes of God, there is only one standard definition of success and that is: “being a good human and living your life for others, and not just for yourself.”
As Maya Angelou beautifully sums up, “The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.”