Long before the advent of the internet and eons before the modern teaching-learning methodology evolved, the best and in my opinion, the only ways were to learn from either experimenting or observing & emulating our elders. People those days may not have been as qualified as today’s generation in the use of modern gadgetry or the world may not have been a small entity, the Concept of global village might have been a really far-fetched notion, they may not have been as suave, polished & glib but they knew ENOUGH.
They understood how the world went around, they realized the value of life, virtues of patience, honesty, loyalty, respect, hardwork & perseverance. They experienced what it was to work hard and yet lose when their efforts were pit against divine & natural deterrents. They fathomed how to win against insurmountable odds. They appreciated that their children will model after them & their behavior. They discerned that they were the lighthouses that would steer the navigators of the future to a safe & sure shore. They stood witness to a society brought up on so many virtues of good living. Their resolve, when put against adversities was exemplary. Rarely ever, were they perturbed with the bouncers that life so unerringly threw at them. They were Pure Gold-those people, who inhabited our planet just a generation back.
Many of them, aging & ailing though they may be, are still around. Sadly, we have sidelined their wisdom, forced them behind margins made by us-the freshly educated, tech-savvy, modern generation. Nearly all of us are guilty of undermining their advise and guidance from time to time. “You don’t know how the world works these days”, is the constant litany of the young & their easy excuse to escape the transgression of disregarding the oldguard- the parents & the grandparents.
Time & again, our Oldguard gives us glimpses of their tough veneer & highly virtuous moral fibre, that they cherish above all and that has stood them in good stead all their lives. And in so doing, help us pull ourselves out of the quagmire of doubt, stress, dishonesty, low self-esteem and an ebbing confidence in the sustainability of our very lives.
This afternoon, I was faced with one such low, having lost a much needed sum of money. I learnt an important lesson today. No matter how listless and uninterested our aging parents may be in the daily nitty-gritty of this fast paced digital life, they still hold the aces when it comes to being calm & composed when faced with life’s challenges. Here I was, lamenting the loss of a hefty (for me) twenty five thousand to thieves (girls, if I may add), wondering how were we going to manage our immediate needs and then there were my parents – my father, a septuagenerian & my mother well in her sixties, tranquil & even-tempered. I realised that they must have been perturbed deep down yet remaining unruffled for our sakes was their biggest gift to us. Without making a conscious effort, they bestowed a valuable life lesson to us, merely by example.
My mother told me this evening, “what is gone is gone, may be it never was meant to be yours in the first place. Make all the efforts you need to, in order to retrieve what you have lost but then if you don’t recover it, just let it be. Don’t waste your days & spoil a good night’s sleep, moping, sulking & bewailing the loss of something that cannot be reclaimed. ‘What ifs’ just bring in misery & wretchedness. Crying over it won’t help. It will just cloud your judgement and prevent you from finding a way out.”
Such wise words, Spoken with such candor, in such Simplicity..
We are life long learners and we would do well to accord that, much-needed deference, honor, esteem, regard & attention bordering on reverence to our Oldguard. They truly, have been and still are the torch-bearers of our time-honored wisdom & sagacity.
For hardships and how to deal with them, Master Rumi puts it aptly-
Don’t be Sad! God sends Hope in the most desperate moments. The Heaviest rain comes out of the darkest Clouds.