If tragedy strikes, don’t lose hope. Transform it into an opportunity to make things better. – Dalai Lama
What does that mean?
This is a great quote about our attitude. Bad things happen to good people. But what do we do when things go badly for us?
Some lose hope, others use the event as an opportunity to improve their life. That doesn’t mean we don’t go through a grieving process for the loss, but it does mean that we don’t stop living our lives either.
At some point in our lives, we will have something happen which might be described as a tragedy. The question is what will we do? Will we crumble, or will we endure?
This quote urges us to work on not losing hope, to endure this event and the aftermath. And, like a Phoenix, rise from the ashes and renew your energy, spirit, and dedication. Easy? No. Doable? Most certainly.
Why is perseverance important?
Sometimes, things come easily. Usually they don’t. Sometimes, things go poorly. Occasionally they just crumble before us. These, the worst of times, these tragedies, they are a test of us and our resolve. Will we pull it together and continue on, or will we crumble and fall as well?
Events happen. What value we assign to these events are choices we make. Every tragedy has an opportunity hidden within it. Earthquakes damage buildings, sometimes destroying them. People are injured, sometimes killed. But what will you do? Will you collapse like a building or die with your friends or family?
It is my wish that you choose to persevere, that you retain some hope. I understand that the path will not be easy. But it has been trod before by countless millions of people throughout history. It can be done, if you hold on to hope and look towards the opportunities which are presented.
If you house was destroyed, were you considering moving or considering building something different? Did you need a different layout? As big as the tragedy might be, you now have the opportunity to consider other options. If you can stay strong, you can make things work for you. It is your choice.
Where can I apply this in my life?
The opportunity to quit is always present. At some point, we all ask if it is worth the effort to continue. Sometimes we have selected a particularly difficult path, and it makes sense to choose another instead. But there will be times we just want to quit. As the quote urges us, we must not lose hope.
A true tragedy will bring pain and sorrow. There will be a grieving process. But one must remember that it is a process, not a new place to stay. The feelings will come, and eventually they will pass. Remembering to keep hope alive during this time may be difficult, but it can be done.
Eventually, the grieving will be done, and it will be time to get back to our life. What then? Will you find your hope? Will you take advantage of the new opportunities presented in the wake of tragedy? Again, it is a choice. You can choose to remain in grief, or you can move through it and emerge with hope.
How can you make your life better? Or perhaps the opportunity is to help others make their lives better. What can you do to help? How can you persevere despite the tragedy? What is the greater good, what is the bigger picture from which you can draw inspiration? Again, it is a choice.
Sometimes the only thing you have going for you is to reach out to help others. There are always those who are hurt more, or are not as able to cope as you. You can provide comfort, assistance, or just lend moral support as they finish grieving and prepare to make their decision on whether to remain hopeful or not.
Perseverance isn’t always easy. Like the rest of life, there will be ups and downs. Having hope is a great way to help you hold steady and persevere when things are on the downward slope. And your hope can be an inspiration for others who are in the same place or going through a similar circumstance.
What tragedies have befallen you in your life? How have you handled them in the past? Has your attitude towards them changed in the intervening years? What could you do differently or think differently which might make it easier to find an opportuninty to make things better?
We may never be able to make sense of a tragedy, but we can always take it as an opportunity to make things better. But it is a choice we have to make. The opportunity will pass us by if we do not act. What lesson, what inspiration, what hope will come out of the tragedy?