A young friend of mine celebrated his birthday, the other day. Mark Zuckerberg informed me about my friend’s birthday, I wished him on the Facebook. I prefer to call friends and talk to them too, on their birthdays! Hence, I called him. We do chitchat on phone once in a while and have the usual banter about market conditions and general economy. After the banter, he calls me Sir, he said, ” Sir, I wanted to share with you something. I underwent yearly medical checkup and there was a patch found in my lungs.” I was hoping that it would be TB or some such infection. He is a non -smoker and teetotaler. He further said, “The biopsy indicated malignancy. I have already started radiation and chemo therapy.”
I was stunned but did not let this reflect in my reaction. He further said, “My wife told me to discuss with you about malignancy, as you have also gone through the same issue a few years back.” I was impressed with his nonchalant way, when he told me about the carcinoma. Then he suggested that I could visit him on that day, as it was his birthday. Visit unfortunately did not materialize.
All of this was so SUDDEN! A real storm started in my mind the way storms generally start, suddenly. (Today’s technology predicts such storms in advance, so suddenness factor gets a bit diluted these days)! But this storm in my mind was about thoughts, a big churning had started in my mind. I was feeling breathless, figuratively! Though the winds of thoughts were blowing, I had this feeling as if I was getting choked! Everything looked so bleak, like we see the dark clouds during the build-up of a storm. If I was feeling this on knowing this issue, I cannot imagine what my friend must have gone through. When I had this problem, I was 64 but my friend is much younger than me!
I thought how our mind behaves in the same fashion as the nature. Does nature get confused during the build-up of a storm system? Suddenly big drops of rain start falling, making all surroundings beautifully wet! In the same manner the dark thoughts in my mind were also washed away! Suddenly I felt as if there was cool breeze flowing, which relaxed my mind!
This change happened as I remembered my own personal storm, where I pushed hard against a strong headwind! When my cancer was detected more than four years ago, similar storm had brewed in my mind. But love and positivity of Jaya and family were like big raindrops which reduced the fierceness of the storm. When life takes sudden twists and turns, you feel as if you are sitting in a vehicle which you are not able to control on a slippery road. But when you know that there is someone very strong and capable of taking the control of the vehicle, your anxieties are reduced.
During that phase of my life, I remembered about a mathematical operation of addition. The word addition by itself is a positive word. During addition, we use the term carry forward! Carry forward is a beautiful way of resolving a conflict. While adding, if the value of sum of the any digit is more than 9, say 21, then we note down 1 and carry forward 2! What a beautiful way to bypass an issue! What a positive way of going forward!
In tough situations in life we need to remember the operation of addition and method of carry forward, all the time. This will help us to never get stuck up! We will be able to overcome the storms, we will be able to overcome the typhoons! We will never get stuck up with a question, what to do? We have the great option to carry forward! This attitude teaches us never to ask the proverbial question, “Why me”?
My dear friend, this is just the beginning of the storm in your life; but the storms usually end with rains that cleanse the surroundings, and make the atmosphere fresh and happy. Take a deep breath, you have already overcome many small storms in your life. Those small storms may have been in the form of not getting to attend a college that you wanted to go to. It could be about your secret crush getting married to someone else! It also could be about not able to achieve some professional goal! These storms can be compared with strong waves that keep on coming relentlessly on the seashores. The waves in the form of challenges keep on coming, these waves maybe prelude to a small storms or issues. But you have learned the art of surfing elegantly on these waves and overcoming them with the attitude to carry forward! Take the challenge. While learning to surf, I am sure you have gone down below the water surface once in a while, but have strongly come out, always!
You have the support of a strong family, your friends and your good intellect! All these are like protection gear that you may have while walking in the heavy downpour. Maybe your socks will get wet but those can always be changed. My experience is that during tough times, you suddenly get a support from heretofore dormant friends or someone close in your family! There are such gems hidden in our society! Accept support and help gracefully, but if you are already overwhelmed with such support, politely indicate that their support will be taken during the next storm, if required.
Was I shaken because of the storm in my life? Was I depressed because of the health issue? I don’t think so. In today’s times with modern diagnostics and treatments available, the possibility of being cured of health issues is pretty high. I know of a young lady, who was forced to take 100% oxygen support due to some allergy issue. When I initially spoke to her, she was a bit despondent. But over a period, she was able to overcome her difficulty completely, thanks to medicines, support and ability to surf on the strong waves without going under! I once explained to her that shortage of oxygen is like some water going in your nose, while riding the waves! It is a temporary phase in life! But the fighter in her overcame all such hurdles! She started improving with positive energy she started getting due to her fighting spirit.
My dear friend, I am looking forward to seeing you ride the waves and combat the storm, the way you handle other issues in life! In fact, I am looking forward to seeing you as a big boss in some modern organization.