|By Kimberly Fernandes, Qatar [ Published Date: September 21, 2007 ]|
This is a haphazard story of disaster, a generalization of sorts. The "man" could be you, me or anyone else. My "story" is not about the bad things that can happen to you (for that cannot - can never - be pinpointed or dreamed of accurately), but about the way in which you can deal with life's misfortunes, both big and small.
But first a little background on the man. He has almost everything, but not quite. He is, by and large, never himself. He is sometimes scared of being what he truly is, for people may not like him then. He does not know whether what he says and does is right or wrong, and thus spends far too much time deciding the right words to say in his relationships, when he should focus instead on how he can further them.
These are his petty worries. He is moderately insecure and not sure where he fits in. He has a different perspective on some things and is afraid to say it out loud, for fear of not fitting in. His problem is that he to be naturally perfect, and assumes that will guarantee him acceptance wherever he goes.
He continues to live his fairly successful life, until he is faced with a crisis. Let's assume it's a personal crisis - something within the family. His inhibitions prevent him from truly getting into the heart of the matter and trying to solve it. So, despite being bothered, he stays back from the action and is a silent spectator.
But when one thing goes wrong, things after that all go horribly wrong. It almost appears to be a conspiracy from the heavens, to unsettle him. He has to decide on what course of action to take to help solve these problems of his, and that scares him more. He is aware that he could make a wrong decision and have his life in shambles.
He cannot, however, put off things indefinitely. When he finally does decide on a way to solve his problems, he realizes it is a false step. He looks inside of him, ahead of him, around him - everywhere he is surrounded by darkness. Almost instantaneously, he knows that what he has done is wrong.
He has to move ahead. He cannot stay rooted in this darkness until the end of time. So he decides on a course of action. He chooses the ending of his story.
In the first ending, he plunges headfirst into the darkness he sees. He envelopes himself with it. The more he sees, the more he grieves. He manages to convince himself (and this is not a hard task) that he is a goner. He lets his problems get the better of him. It does not matter to him anymore whether or not he lives - in his eyes, he is a man who has far too many problems to be able to live his former life of success. He continues in this form, and, true to expectations, his life story ends after a little while.
In the second ending, he plunges headfirst into the darkness he sees. He gropes around to find a ledge that will allow him to climb out. True, the darkness frightens him. His increasing solitude almost kills him. He realizes that it is up to him to help himself, and that frightens him. In his vision of a perfect existence, this darkness had never figured in.
But now that it has, he attempts to get the better of it. He turns to God and asks for His assistance. He tells in detail of his problems. Of how dark it is where he happens to be, and how very lonely. He goes on and on, and God listens.
And then God talks. He tells him of how he must remain calm and work his way out. Of how he should not let this darkness permeate his depths, but should remain superficial. Of how being proactive will not help him one bit. And, most of all, of how he should take it upon himself to be positive and climb out of this, ledge or no ledge.
So he does, and soon his life is the way it was before.
You do not drown simply by plunging into the water. You drown if you stay beneath the surface.
Kimberly Fernandes, Qatar