“The secret of success is constancy to purpose”
– Benjamin Disraeli (British author and Prime minister of the late 19th century)
An Indian folktale reveals the nature of pleasure in this world:
“A man tired during his long journey through the forest begged God to grant him a horse. He imagined if he had a horse, life would be comfortable. Soon a female horse appeared from nowhere. He joyfully rode on her back and cared for the horse’s needs as well. However, his happiness was short lived as the pregnant mare, gave birth to a baby horse. Now the man’s journey was delayed as he not only cared for both of them but also carried the foal on his back. Meanwhile, the horse reluctantly followed the man along the forest path. Filled with a sober realization, the man cried, “Oh Lord, I asked you for a horse that would carry me across the forest, but now I am carrying a horse. Every pleasure that we experience is pregnant like this horse with a future inconvenience.”
Life’s like that; there is misery at every stage of our life. What makes life beautiful though is our Aspiration.
Purpose makes suffering meaningful
Victor Frankl writes in his bestseller, Man’s search for meaning, about life at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Most people met their end at the gas chamber and when they lived, fear gripped their very souls. Interestingly though there were a few who still had a purpose; the author himself thought of his wife and dreamt of the day he’d reunite with her. This vision gave meaning to the suffering he endured and helped him take on each day as it came, with all its vagaries and shocks. Later after the Allied forces crushed Germany and all the prisoners were released, Frankl founded Logotherapy where he explored the philosophical basis of well-being by focusing on the meaning and purpose of our lives.To be continued…