Face the hardest situations of life with a smile

10 May 2020, Amritapuri
~from Amma’s message during corona times

Sorrows and hardships will definitely come in our life. But often they will serve to make us stronger. If a thorn pricks our foot as we are running, we will stop and remove it. Moreover, that experience will make us cautious. We will be alert and look for other thorns in the path. We may stop running and proceed with more care. We will be calmer, slower and more cautious. Thus, the prick of the thorn will make us look at the path with more alertness. Then, as we proceed, we may find other hidden dangers on the path. Maybe even a snake, which we otherwise may have missed. We then realize that the thorn prevented us from stepping on the poisonous snake. This is a positive outlook. Such an attitude will help us face the present situation calmly.

Think that the present situation is to help heighten our awareness and to give us the strength to confront bigger problems and overcome them. Accept this thorn pricking our foot, be patient and then we will be able to live through this. All problems in life should be viewed from such a perspective.

There are people who are unable to face the smallest of troubles. On the other hand, we also see people who face the hardest situations with a smile on their face, imparting cheer to everyone around them. We should try to belong to the second category.

Who hasn’t heard of the unwavering smile that illumined Sri Krishna’s face? Even in the middle of extreme conflict, he smiled and spread cheer all around. His life gives the message that this is the nature of the world. Understand this and move forward without becoming discouraged.

Problems and hardships will always be there in life. Most of them make us stronger. While pencil lead is present inside the pencil, the wood needs to be shaved off to expose it, so that we can use the pencil to write.
As we shave away the wood, the point gets sharper and sharper. Similarly, strength is within us. When such problems arise, it hones our strength and makes it better.

The other factor is the paper. The quality of the paper we get may vary- it can be thin or thick, glossy or matte. But our lot is to make sure that we use our pencil to write beautiful poetry on the given paper, to the best of our ability. Only this part is in our hands. Try to be a pencil or pen in the hands of God.

When we write with this pencil, we may make mistakes. The eraser at the bottom of the pencil is used to remove these mistakes immediately and rewrite the words. At the end of the writing, we usually read through what we have written. If we have used improper words, we can erase them and write new and better words over them. For this, patience is needed. A little time to correct our mistakes is needed.

The corona pandemic has become has completely changed the way we look at and deal with life. Life was getting so hectic that children were very used to hardly ever seeing their parents. Before they woke up, the parents would have gone for work. By the time one of the parents would come home, often the children would be asleep. Even holidays were mostly spent with the laptop—with no room on the lap for the child. This was the atmosphere before corona.

Children were unable to get much love and affection from their parents. Now children are able to spend at least a little time with their parents. Many mothers and fathers are able to see and understand each other’s days and what each other are going through. This has helped them adjust with each other. Many mothers are housewives and spend all day within the four walls of the home.

When all of us are forced to stay indoors it has helped us to appreciate how difficult it must be for them to remain inside all the time. In the past, people used to want to come back home—their safe haven. But nowadays as soon as people got home from work they wanted to go out because if they stayed indoors looking at each other, there was sure to be a fight.

Amma heard a joke. The husband asks his wife, “Why aren’t you wearing your mask?”

“But we are indoors, why should I wear the mask?” replies the wife.

“Quick, put on the mask,” says the husband. “Then I will only have to see part of your face!”

The husband was tired of seeing his wife’s face. This is what happens when people start staying together. If at all my children fight with each other, make sure you also make up. There will always be conflicts in homes. So, try your best to adjust with each other.