Do we all remember the above track which was used in the movie ‘problem child?’ That was a little girl’s way of reacting to life’s painful jolts. It is easy to whine and moan when things do not go according to plan. It is also easy to blame another after all it’s always someone else’s fault. We will come back to this movie which i believe has a lot to teach.

Let’s talk about it. Has life ever dealt you a painful blow? What was it? You lost a dear one? Yes that is always a painful one.

Okay maybe it wasn’t death. Let’s say you were unsuccessful in an examination, one in which you had prayed down the heavens for success.

It wasn’t an examination? What was it? There was an unbelievable traffic on route to the church and you had to walk to your own wedding!!!!! amidst the dust and dry winds of the harmattan, turning your lovely gown to a ‘was white’.

Oh it was none of those? Okay so what was the painful blow? You have put in so much into your organisation. You have worked late nights, you have postponed family vacations simply because you could not afford to miss work right now. There is so much to accomplish at the office and you cannot let the CEO down. Then comes the promotion list and bang, your name is not there. No it can’t be. After all your work. After-all you have sacrificed. It is understandable if you become bitter right? Oh well, it’s okay to be angry for a while. You can actually cry over it. That is absolutely okay. But, it is definitely not okay for you to become a bitter, cynical individual and please don’t invite me to your pity party either.

Okay it wasn’t a promotion incident? So what was the painful blow? You had so high dreams of becoming a doctor, hoping to be a worldly acclaimed cardiologist yet you barely made it through high school. Thanks to your father who though could afford to see you through school chose to ‘drink’ all his wealth away.

Okay we should not blame your lousy father? So what was it? Your husband of 25 years just left you without so much as an explanation, barely 2 months to your silver jubilee anniversary?

Yes I heard you. It was not marital problems. So what was it? You have just been called up to the stage for the “best writer” award, a dream finally come through. You have never looked more beautiful in your life, you have your speech all ready only for you to trip just halfway up the stage. Yes i can imagine. It will definitely make more sense to remain flat on the floor hoping it will simply open up and swallow you. After all no one can bear that kind of shame right? You ask me how you are expected to just get up, face a hall of more than 2000 guests, smile and act like nothing happened. Well I have got news for you!!! Yes that is exactly what you are expected to do. I am not saying it will be easy.

It wasn’t the steps, neither was it the high heels? Okay then, what was the blow? Your name was dragged into the mud for something you didn’t do. Granted your name has been cleared but you are sure everyone at the office will forever remember the incident. How on earth can I expect you to forget that and move on?

Sorry to disappoint you but that is exactly what i expect you to do. MOVE ON. That is life remember?

People die. People fail examinations especially when the right amount of effort was not put in. Husbands walk out of their marriages. There are ‘dads’ and there are ‘fathers’. It can take just a minute for a heavy traffic to build up. I didn’t invent the word traffic jam. People miss their steps. Yes believe it or not, not all feet are meant for the 6inches heels. It takes practice. Okay you were not promoted. So what? You are still alive aren’t you? Yes you were falsely accused at the office. But you’ve been cleared right? Should I go on? The list is endless…………

Unlike the little birthday girl in the movie ‘problem child’ earlier mentioned, we are not expected to wail and whine and moan. Come on. Life occasionally deals us such blows. The difference is in how we handle them.

In his book ‘the rules of life,’ Richard Templar wrote: Life is difficult. And the rule is to always be thankful. If it was all fluffy and easy, we wouldn’t be tested, tried, forged in the fire of life. We wouldn’t grow or learn or change, or have a chance to rise above ourselves. If life were a series of lovely days, we’d soon get bored. If there was no rain, then there wouldn’t be any feeling of great joy when it finally stopped and we could go to the beach. If it was all easy we couldn’t get stronger.

So be thankful it is a struggle some of the time and recognize that only dead fish swim with the stream. For the rest of us there will be times when it’s an uphill, upstream struggle. We will have to battle waterfalls and raging torrents. But we have no choice. We have to keep swimming or get swept away. And each flick of our tail, each surge of our fins makes us stronger and fitter, leaner and happier.

To be continued …………………………………………

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