Standing alone

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SUDHA UMASHANKER
Published Feb 12, 2017, 12:35 am IST
Updated Feb 12, 2017, 12:39 am IST
You evolve spiritually, find ways to strengthen yourself and build your character by standing alone.
Representational image
 Representational image

Braving challenges singly or standing up for your convictions or strongly held beliefs all alone are situations we will all find ourselves in at some point or other in our lives. Doing so needs tapping into huge  good springs of courage and faith and calls for strength of character. Not very difficult to figure why.

As people we tend to find comfort in packs (it is our herd mentality kicking in) and ploughing a lonely furrow is something we shy away from. From a simple thing like voicing an opinion while on a panel of speakers or posting a status, we wait for the magic words “as you rightly pointed out” or the “likes” on social media to reinforce our belief in what we believe. Our need for approval and favourable ratings (like TV programs)  often stop us from daring to stick our necks out and going against the grain even when one knows the majority is not right! We would rather take refuge in playing it safe and being politically correct. But truly great things have been achieved  precisely by standing alone not to forget the concomitant inner transformation.

 

When your own convictions and faith are put to the test and questioned by all and sundry you are forced to revisit and present your case with greater clarity and sureness. So in a sense being riled from all sides is a good thing as in the long run it gives you a grip over the subject on hand and the confidence that comes there from. The fact that you can be court-martialed brutally at any point also keeps you on tenterhooks  and serves as a check to your  ego. It can teach you humility if one is so inclined. With not many to support or back you (apart from may be trusted friends or family) you ultimately realise that there is a Higher power you can turn to. So, by standing alone you evolve spiritually, find ways to strengthen yourself and build character.

Even the man who discovered America had his share of tribulations at one point. Christopher Columbus the Italian explorer faced the ignominy of a doubting crew and he virtually had to deceive them before he showed them a whole, new world. When he led three of his ships out of the Spanish port of Palos, the plan was to sail west. He stopped at Canary Islands and then resumed the voyage.

Favourable weather conditions propelled him westward. But the long and arduous journey took a toll on the crew. Columbus constantly under-reported the distance covered so that they would not realise how far they were from home. But soon they were ready to rebel against him. Columbus managed to buy time and struck a deal with them. If no land was sighted in two days they would be homeward bound. And guess what? Land was sighted the very next day and history was made.

The fact that he held out in the face of doubt and opposition and believed, made all the difference. The world was never the same again.

— The writer is a Reiki channel, yoga practitioner and a spiritual seeker

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