“I live the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.” -Og Mandino
Sometimes, black clouds obstruct the sun and cast a gloom over the land. But when we look carefully, we see that their edges are tinted with a silvery glow which is a sign that these clouds will soon move on. The famous poet Shelley has expressed this idea in the words, “If winter has come, can spring be far behind?”
During times of ease, it is natural to be agreeable and pleasant. It is our attitude in difficulty that defines who we truly are. It is correctly said that without hardship, how would we know relief? The patience and gratitude with which we bear our burdens is the reflection of how strong our personality is.
When Thomas Edison was a schoolboy, one day his teacher sent him home with a note to give to his mother. He asked his mother what the teacher had written and she explained to him that the teacher was saying that your son has a lot of potential. The school does not have the capacity to polish his talents so teach him at home where you can pay special attention to him. So his mother did.
He grew up and explored whatever intrigued him. It is said that he was afraid of the dark.
He failed 10,000 times before becoming the inventor of the light bulb. He said,
“I have not failed 10,000 times. I have found 10,000 ways which do not work.”
After his mother’s death, while going through her belongings, he found the same letter that his teacher had sent and he read it. It said that your son is too dull to learn at all. So we are removing him from this school….
Just imagine what life would be like today if the world’s greatest people had become disheartened by the black clouds and had given up.
“Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Whenever you feel that there is just too much pain and misery in your life and that you can’t go on, just remember what happened with Hazrat Yusuf (AS) when he was a child.
Imagine a young boy, who has 10 elder brothers which hate him. Imagine him being thrown down a well by them and being rescued by desert caravan which picks him and sells him as a slave. Imagine a young boy, in a strange country, far away from home and missing his dear father dreadfully, being forced to work as a slave. And then just as life starts to get better for him, he is thrown into jail on false accusations.
But the day soon came when he became royal treasurer and his brothers came to him begging for food.
And after years came his reunion with his father who had become blind with grief on his separation.
Just remember true the words of Allah to his people:
“So with hardship there is ease. Without doubt, with hardship comes ease.”
Abraham Lincoln may be called the greatest of all American presidents because he defeated the confederates to abolish slavery. The great emancipator of the blacks had a terrible childhood. He grew up in a shack in prairie and had to walk miles to go to school. Once he was left alone for four months in the shack with his brothers and sisters by his father. He knew what misery was and what it felt like to starve and be deprived. Perhaps these feelings that drove him to free the slaves.
“Hard times do not create heroes. It is during hard times that the hero
Within us is revealed.”
Of all the great people I have heard or read about, an insignificant few had an easy life. All great people had a troubled childhood, or unfortunate circumstances in their lives. The truth is that when people have all the conveniences of life, they like to shut themselves up in a box and not let the outside world hamper their mental peace or their luxurious lifestyle. In other words they are in their comfort zone and would like to remain there. On the other hand, when people are unprivileged, frustration and desire for a better life drive them to toil and labour, and it is this work which has the power to change the world.
Like Doe Zantamig said;
“It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never ever be dimmed.”
During hard times, we are tested inside out and we manage to recognize who we truly are. Difficulty brings out the real us hidden deep inside us so that we can become acquainted with it. It is truly said that without difficulty, how would we know ease? Hardship is therefore a blessing in disguise, whose effects we feel far ahead in our lives. Sorrow therefore strengthens us and keeps us human.
Like Malcolm S. Forbes said:
“When things are bad, we take comfort in the thought that they could always get worse. And when they are, we find hope in the thought that, things are so bad, they have to get better.”
The phrase ‘Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining’ also has an additional meaning.
Black clouds are depressing, but without them, the beautiful silver edge would never exist. Similarly, every seemingly undesirable occurrence or entity has its positive effects.
I once read a story about a Chinese boy who dreamed to be a famous martial artist. Unfortunately, he lost his right arm and due to his disability, was rejected by all famous institutes across the country. However, he did not give up. After an eternity of searching, he finally found an extremely aged master who agreed to teach him. When the tournament came, he won match after match by using just one step. His dream materialized as he was crowned the champion.
How did he manage to do it? Because the step that he practiced could be blocked in only one way- by grabbing the opponent’s right arm.
The only difference between stepping stones and stumbling blocks is how you use them.
We can transform our weaknesses into strengths.
We just need to be able to see tomorrow’s sunrise in our minds eye to overcome the great blackness overhead. That, and an indomitable real-us formed by the years of trial and tribulation has the power to lead us through.
“When everything seems to be going against you, just remember
The aeroplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford