In My Eyes
By Edward B. Antonio
The news about a girl who committed suicide disturbed me for several nights, fellas.
A daughter from a prominent Visayan clan, she was supposed to graduate magna cum laude, as her parents desired. But she got a problem in one of her subjects and she was relegated to cum laude. Her parents were disappointed that she just graduated cum laude.
The next time around, she was found dead in her room. Out of frustration, she committed suicide by drinking her chocolate mixed with formaline, the liquid used in embalming and preserving cadavers.
Who is to be blamed, fellas? The parents who pushed her too far, her professor who gave her a hard time in one of her subjects or she, herself, for not coping up with this simple trial in life?
When we fail in something, is it the end of everything?
The key to happy and successful living lies in the ability to bounce back. We must all be subjected to trials and tribulations in life. It is an immutable law of living. It is a condition for our existence.
Examine the life of any human being and you will find that problems, disappointments and frustrations are part of it as the seasons form part of the weather cycle. We all experience a dry season. There are moments in our lives when nothing seems to go well. There are times we feel we are crossing a vast and endless desert. There is little water to refresh us. The hot sun burns everything. There is hardly a green leaf to be found. This is a sad moment indeed. There are days when we wish we were never born. Those are trying times.
But there is also a wet season. Then, the rains and the wind come. Amazing things happen. Plants and flowers spring up from what was thought to be barren and unyielding land. Everything comes to alive again. There is hope and vigor everywhere.
But the rains don’t come without the winds, fellas. And the winds are oftentimes destructive. Low-pressured winds and strong rains bring destructive typhoons.
In life, we all have our share of storms. Every time so often, there come into our lives strong winds to break us. Great tragedies, bitter disappointments and nagging frustrations all seem to conspire to destroy our happiness.
A famous American football coach once told his team a story:
“After every big storm, plenty of broken oak limbs can be found on the ground. But you never find any branch from the fir tree. Oak trees are big and strong, but they stand stiff and straight. When the wind blows, they crack. But fir trees sway with the storms and snap back afterward. Just remember: If you want to be king of the forest, you can’t be too proud to bend with the wind.”
There are those people who are like the oak tree. They stand stiff and proud and refuse to bend in any situation. And they do stand, at least, in the light breeze. However when the high wind come down, the oak tree stands the way it has always done. It holds firm and if the wind is strong enough, the tree cracks and breaks.
There are those who are like a fir tree. With them, flexibility is a way of life. They know how to give and take. They are humble enough to bend and bow when necessary.
More than anything else, they know how to bounce back from every storm. No matter how strong the wind, however great the tragedy, they always seem to come back with a smile. Nothing seems capable of breaking them. They bounce back like a rubber ball, and the harder you seem to hit them, the higher they bounce!
This is life, fellas!
Considering that we all bear some kind of suffering in life, one can see where those people are in favourable position indeed. They somehow find just a little bit of happiness even in the greatest tragedy. They know how to draw, at least, a minimum of good from the most terrible situations regardless of their hurt, their frustration, and their disappointments.
They seem always to be able to discern even the finest rainbow in the horizon. They think positive although everything around is negative.
If we suffer, then, so be it, fellas.
If we must be disappointed and frustrated, then, there is no way to avoid it. But we can bounce back quickly and completely. This is one of the secrets of successful living.
US President Theodore Roosevelt said it well:
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though chequered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they lie in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
Blessed are those who bounce back for they shall smile in the midst of tragedy.