The periodic irrelevance or unimportance is actually an essential phase in our life to make us appreciate and value things when we have or don’t have. Often, some of us get supercilious, irreverent or egotistic when we have power, affluence, success or importance emanating from different sectoral successes of our short life.
Such transitory societal unimportance not only helps us value things better when we have them, the same also makes us humble and down to earth. Most importantly, such periods or time should be creatively and constructively utilised for rediscovering and reinventing oneself.
There are many things we have always desired to do in our life or there are many relationships which become neglected for want of our desired affection and care. By deriving our importance from passing positions or situations of power, we make ourselves amenable to the arbitrary control of our eternal Self which could and ought to be carefully nourished through intelligent investment of time, care, attention and affection. Such periods of insignificance or unimportance should be wisely utilized to nurture one’s long-neglected Muses and relationships instead of moping about things we have temporarily lost.
What we lost was anyhow never ours and was going to be alienated sooner or later anyway. So, it is advisable for us to create a permanent source of importance for us, something which makes us immune to such temporary ups and downs in our fortunes. Such permanent importance can come only by continual investment in our relationships and in the development of uplifting qualities in our personality which eventually lead us to the growth of our eternal consciousness which moves with us from one life to another and also stays with us in the finer realms after our death.
The failures, unimportance, setbacks or periodic downfall in our stock are the most important teachers of our life. Such a phenomenon makes us appreciate and respect our fellow human beings whom often we ignore or mistreat during our temporal prominence. This also affords us an opportunity to restrategize and rework our life’s objectives.
It gives us the required respite and pause to replan and redo things to take our lives to the next level. As they say, if you want things you never had, you must try things you never did. Our privations, weaknesses and challenges are God’s signal to a bigger task and achievement. After all, bigger achievements require bigger sacrifices and bigger efforts.
Such periods should, therefore, be intelligently utilized to recharge our batteries, catch up on our family responsibilities, spend more time with our relatives and friends, learn newer things, pursue our passions, upgrade our skills and add uplifting qualities to our individual consciousness. Instead of crying over spilt milk or ruing the lost opportunities, positions or power, we should spend quality time in rediscovering ourselves to enjoy the present moment in the divine company of our friends, colleagues and family members.
We also get to learn and add superior qualities like patience, forbearance and humility during these times. A significant degree of character-building happens during such times. Instead of sulking at the loss of our desired things or successes (which anyhow is nothing but momentary), we should focus on snatching the smaller pleasures of life from the present. It is such smaller pleasures which eventually add to our eternal bliss and contentment.
In fact, the real sense of power comes from helping the helpless and earning their admiration and gratitude. Heartfelt appreciation and admiration from the people around us is the real intoxicant or aphrodisiac. However, helping others with a selfish motive is said to be spiritually degrading.
Lord Krishna in the ***Gita*** says that we should indulge in ***Nishkam Karma***, deeming every action as an act of prayer, without any expectation. This could be the greatest investment in our future as the same comes back to us multiplied. We often curse God for what He has not given us or taken away without acknowledging what he has given us in abundance. We understand the value thereof only after the same is lost.
Life has been compared to our favourite ice-cream. We must relish it before it melts. So chase your long cherished passions, nurture your creative Muses and spend quality time in the divine company of your near and dear ones. Often, in the rat race of success and achievements, we forget to uplift our character and soul.
God’s ‘micro plan’ affords each of us an opportunity to undertake such activities through these temporary periods of unimportance. Our attempt should be to reinforce the enduring substance or quality to our individuality, something which would not be compromised with such periodic losses or would not go with the sudden loss of power or position, thereby making us stronger to stand tall in such periods of personal losses or crises.
We should try to outgrow these positions of power or importance to add permanent value to our character and individuality. This also uplifts ourselves spiritually and plants permanent impressions on our souls as part of the eternal consciousness to travel with us to the next world or dimension when we finally expire..
Those who understand this, carefully indulge themselves through constructive and creative pursuits. If we add such eternal value to ourselves, society would be forced to sit up, notice and value us. So, let’s make ourselves endowed with such timeless qualities that people find it difficult to ignore us.
Life is not a destination; it is a journey. We can’t afford to stop at a particular juncture or remain stuck in the attractions of a specific position of power or importance. Often people spend such time cursing others they mistakenly think responsible for their downfall.
As many Hindu scriptures and sages have said time and again, anything happening to us in this world is our own making and consequence of our past ***Karma***. So, possessed of our insecurities, inferiority complex or momentary failures, we tend to criticise others without realising that the same will take us backwards in terms of personal growth.
Such an outlook blinds us to future opportunities and brighter prospects awaiting us. As they say, as long as you are trying to get even with others, you can’t get ahead of them. As we can’t take someone’s destiny, similarly none can take ours. So, instead of blaming others for our woes, we should treat them as the result of our own Karma and should try to get out of the fleeting periods of unimportance by dint of intelligent rediscovery and enrichment of our eternal Self.
So, let’s not crib and sulk when things are bad for us. Rather, when life is pulling us back, be sure that Almighty is preparing you for a bigger launch like the arrow. The more backward an arrow is pulled, the longest does it travel. A periodic lull in life is an essential phase of life. If we could understand and appreciate the importance of being unimportant at regular intervals of our life, we can definitely accomplish greater tasks and achieve greater successes, not to speak of enriching our eternal consciousness.
The writer is an IAS officer, presently posted as Commissioner of School Education, West Bengal. The views are personal and not the Government’s.