The scariest moments of your life are often the ones that do not announce their arrival. They are usually unsolicited. They come unbidden like the sudden drizzle on a sunny day or the change of wind direction. Why scariest? Because those are the times that you are least prepared to deal with. Like a thief in the night, these moments conspire to catch you unaware. Examples? Do you find it strange that at one moment you are so confident about your future and at another you are worried sick? How about the time when you think you are in control of your emotions and then all it takes is a little circumstantial trigger and you lose your head completely? How about lust? Do you find the sudden change of context in the form of a casual flirt from a secret admirer is strangely enough to wear down your marital resolve?
How about success? Isn't it uncanny that the material success you strive so hard for suddenly changes you from under your nose to someone you hardly recognize? These are the moments that come from behind and entrap you with your eyes wide open. You are seldom aware of their lurking shadows and they are master opportunists. They strike like snipers when you are either down-and-out or bright-and-rosy. Alternatively, they may just hit you between the eyes when you are so sure of your infallibility.
My point is that these insidious moments hide itself in our emotional ganglia just like the measles virus would seek refuge after retreating from an attack and then wait for the right moment to strike again. And trust me, in this uncharted journey of life, they are incubating for an attack to test our character, break our resolve and stretch our resilience. Are we then helpless here? What are our defences against these insidious moments? I don't think I can answer that confidently as each of us will have our own life's journey with its own challenges.
But I recall one father giving this advice to his son, "There are only two lasting things we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings." I guess he meant wings to fly and soar in life, and that is not an issue here. We owe it to life to discover, explore, find our niche, develop it, train hard and live it up. That's good advice.
And then comes roots. To me, roots mean to always remember our origin. It means humility, respect and understanding. Now, that is relevant here. I think my son will be well rewarded in his life if he never forgets about his origin. He came from nothing and will leave with nothing. In between, he will succeed, fail, strive, achieve, regret, learn, err, flounder, doubt, fall, hope, and mature from it all. That's growth, even if it is means growing pains.
So, when we are reminded about humility, respect and understanding, we have a safe and firm anchor on the ground as we spread our wings in the sky. This way, we will always be in touch with our humanity and how vulnerable we are even during those high-flying moments. When we are deeply rooted in life, appreciating our perpetual flaws as well as the occasional flourishing, knowing intimately how life is transient and fleeting, and understanding that the value of relationships far surpasses the value of worldly possessions, we will cast our sight further, look beyond the surface of things, and think differently, deeply.
With such horizon-spanning perspective, we will then be able to face character-breaking moments in our life, however unsolicited, with calm indifference and a measure of sagely resolve. That's the best way I know how to walk our scariest moments by. Cheerz.