Sometimes in Life, you have to do what you have to do!
A young man reached out to me last week. He wanted to know what one should do when the options before you are redoubtable. “What if I know that the two options before me are both “bad” or “wrong” and I still have to make a choice? How can one reconcile with a poor choice knowing fully well that this is not something that you want to do or which will make you happy,” he asked.
I have been particularly swamped with a lot of writing I am doing in connection with my next Book – The Happiness Road. So, I parked the gentleman’s query for discussion in a future Blogpost sometime soon.
But something happened last Sunday when we were on our evening walk. An angry street dog snarled at me ferociously and lunged to grab my right leg from behind. I was wearing full-length socks. Even so, I could feel the dog’s teeth make contact. I rushed away in shock while the dog snarled and snarled and finally backed off. When we could examine my leg under a street light, we found that there were no injuries or abrasions on my leg. By some freak occurrence, the dog’s teeth had missed scratching and penetrating my skin. Vaani immediately recommended that we visit a doctor. I knew her suggestion was a prudent one. But our cash on hand has been very, very, very low these past weeks. Low, in our case = virtually nil. We have been in this state several times in the past decade. So, cashlessness did not make us insecure. But I was also keen that we conserve what we had with us. I knew a visit to the doctor would mean consulting fees + cost of taking shots of the rabies vaccine. I somehow hoped that we would not have to spend on the doctor’s visit and vaccination. But, as Vaani pointed out, “we can’t take a risk with a potential rabies exposure”. So, we made the pilgrimage to the doctor’s and, predictably, I was administered a shot of the vaccine and advised two more shots during the week. It pained me that precious cash was and is being drained on this count. But, as they say in Tamizh, vera vazhi? Is there another way?
Sitting down at my desk to write my Blogpost for the day, my thoughts went back to the young man’s query and the dog-bite experience. And here I am sharing my learning with you.
Sometimes in Life, an option of our choice, something we like or want, will not be available. In such situations, resisting the existing options will only cause suffering. Prudence demands that you choose the option which you think is most unavoidable, or totally non-negotiable, and move on. But, as you do that, stop ruing your lack of options and stop complaining. In my case, our reasoning pointed out that the rabies vaccine was non-negotiable. Having agreed to go through with the doctor’s advice, what purpose will it serve me if I were to either rue the expenditure or curse my fate? An unpalatable event or a bouquet of poor choices, per se, don’t cause us any suffering. It is our resisting them, fighting them, our wishing that we had better options, our complaining about Life that causes our suffering.
This does not mean you must not explore other options. You must definitely do that. But remember you have do what you have to do in some situations. You won’t always get a choice that comforts you. So you learn to live with the option you have to exercise and be non-complaining about it. Only through learning to be non-complaining about your Life can you be non-suffering.