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Tag: dealing with problems

Bear necessities

We were recently watching the new BBC Earth series called A Perfect Planet, narrated by the incomparable Sir David Attenborough.

One shot focused on a group of bears that had just come out of hibernation. They were quite skinny and weak, having gone many months without any food.

Hundreds of them had come together at a lake, the largest such congregation of bears in the world. Their objective? To hunt all the salmon that come to the lake shores, and there were plenty of them. However, in this initial period, the salmon are very strong, and the bears are not quick enough to catch them. Most bears fail, and go hungry.

One old, experienced and wise bear though, had a trick up its sleeve. Instead of fishing from the shore, he swims coolly to the middle of lake, and makes a few dives to the bottom. Each time, he comes back up with mouthfuls. These apparently are fish that have just died and been deposited into the lake bed. The wise bear’s excitement is palpable, as much is the anxiety of all the other bears combined.

It always helps to pay heed to the wise.

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The good, bad and holy

You might have been going through a very tough time. A well-wisher comes up and says to you “This too shall pass”. You’ve heard this a 1000 times before, and don’t like it at all. “Does he even know how grave my problems are right now?”

Let us do one thing. Let’s all create a common whatsapp group. And let’s all post all our problems there. Anyone who wishes, can take all your problems, and in return give all their problems to you. What do you think will be the result of this exercise?

It is highly likely that you will not find even a single taker. Because while our own problems are bad enough that we think only gloom and doom, when we look at others, our problems become meaningless. But we never look at other people’s problems. We only stare in amazement and envy at their growing list of followers and number of likes to their seemingly perfect online avatars.

Life may be cynical. But it is also cyclical. Good things don’t last forever. Because they lead to complacency which then brings downfall. Bad things too don’t last forever. Because having our backs-to-the-wall brings opportunities we would otherwise ignore. The cycle is only broken if one decides to quit midway. But that is too extreme and unwarranted.

It is best to take both the good and the bad with a pinch, nay bucket of salt.

Diving deeper, there is no good or bad. These are only nebulous extremes on a sliding scale of apparent quality created by the mind. Something to ponder upon.

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