Don’t complain! Just practice ‘shogonai’ and ‘gaman’!

If you can’t be solve a problem – just let go and be patient!
Complaining about Life and its vagaries is a sign of weakness. It demonstrates a tendency to resist what is happening and that does not yield any positive outcome.
In the context of the recovery of what may be debris from MH 370 at Reunion island, off the coast of Africa, I am reminded of two traits that the Japanese possess as a people: ‘gaman’ and ‘shoganai’.
‘Gaman’ means patience, endurance, perseverance. And while ‘shoganai’ literally means ‘nothing can be done’  or ‘it can’t be helped’; it also denotes a calm determination to overcome what cannot be controlled. The Japanese language testifies to how a sense of precariousness__since Japan is located in one of the most seismologically active spots on the planet; remember the tsunami of March 2011__has shaped a national consciousness. We have a lot to learn from this Japanese philosophy because most of us are forever complaining of what could have been and what we don’t have!
Obviously, the recovery at Reunion brings to the surface the pain and trauma the MH370 passengers’ families have been experiencing. But ‘shogonai’ – what can be done to undo that pain? Nothing at all. So, only ‘gaman’ will work for them. Only time can heal their souls.
Just like the families of those who went missing with MH370, we too will do well to embrace ‘gaman’ and ‘shoganai’ as simple, practical philosophies to deal with even in everyday Life.  You are in a traffic jam and late for your meeting. ‘Shoganai’. You get a non-reclining seat on the plane. ‘Shoganai’. There is a power outage. ‘Shoganai’. By any stretch of imagination, ‘Shoganai’does not imply fatalism. Which is why, it must be understood and practiced with ‘gaman’. Both together encourage us to stop complaining about things that are beyond our control; instead they urge us to accept situations that leave us numb and helpless and plod us to persevere to change those things . In the context of acts beyond our control__like a health set back or a natural calamity or the passing away of a dear one__they remind us to accept reality and endure Life patiently.

Either way, the Japanese way of Life, invites us to stop complaining. To complain means to live in grief. And grief does not change reality. Neither does acceptance. But acceptance of any reality at least helps the one facing it to be at peace. When there is peace, there will be prosperity__as the Japanese have amply demonstrated in the past, bouncing back from the WW II Hiroshima bombings, and the more recent tsunami!
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