In this life we are constantly bombarded by the “successes” of others. Great fanfare is the order of the day when an athlete wins a gold medal or when a favoured sports team emerges victorious. Remember the celebrations when President Obama first won the Presidency? What about all the hype surrounding such award shows as the Oscars or the Emmy awards? … And this is all good. It has its place and purpose. But we must be cognizant of the scope of success.
Each of us experiences success in different ways, sometimes every day. Sometimes it may seem as though defeat has locked us in its dentate grip. That is the time when we must allow our internal light to begin to shine. The overcoming of life’s difficulties or misfortunes is not a task for the faint-hearted. No, it is a feat which requires the courage of a matador, the discipline of a soldier and the strength of a lion, underscored by the patience of Job. The ability to face our internal battles head on with the conviction that we will not get lost in the deluge of despondency is equivalent to, if not greater than, any tangible reward.
There is no obstacle to success for anyone, as long as there is commitment, passion and constant motion. According to Newton’ s Law of inertia there is a tendency for objects to remain in their current states. It requires some external force to cause a change in that state, whether it is a state of motion or a state of rest. How does this relate to success and tragedy? Well if we regard our misfortunes as obstacles then we can sit back and refuse to move. If however, we embrace them for what they are – external forces meant to change the direction of our lives – then we can use unfortunate circumstances to propel us along a path of forward motion in a positive direction.
I have so many times referred to the incident which changed the course of my life – the incident which resulted in my possession of a “bionic” jaw and a new look. Today I refer to it once again. I could have wallowed in self-pity or drowned myself in a sea of desolation or become immersed in a state of ennui. Through the grace of God none of that has happened. When I was shot at close range by a cold blooded hoodlum, it brought my life to a complete stop… before I began once again to march, this time slowly but steadily, to the rhythm of life.
Given an assortment of trials – a disfigured a face, a bout of depression, several surgical procedures, being on extended leave without pay, depleted savings, no car… – I reacted in a way that was considered uncharacteristic for me by my relatives. I was able to adopt a positive outlook as a result of acceptance of and adaptation to my circumstance. I was able to draw on a strength which everyone else seemed to think I had innately, but which actually was a consequence of surrender to God’s will. This external force caused a change in the direction of my life.
I have found a new passion. Actually it was a hidden passion. I love to write and so I have spent many hours putting pen to paper as the old saying goes. My inspiration for writing is divine. My purpose is God’s purpose. I have recently completed a manuscript based on the incident to which I have referred. It is not confined to that experience. Its essence is spiritual, with many lessons to be gleaned from each chapter. It provides a framework for building values and character.
The manuscript has been accepted for publishing and is currently being reviewed before publication. As the weeks progress I will keep updating the progress and will begin to reveal more details. I know that readers, both locally in Trinidad and internationally, will appreciate the details and descriptions in the story.
Before signing off I want to leave with a few choice words. Standing up against external obstacles is noble but not collapsing inwardly under the pressure of adversity is sacrosanct.