Sunday, December 21, 2008

Getting up

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do." - Confucius

Another similar quotation - "best way to recover from a fall while riding a horse is to get back on one (horse) right away."

I think we have lot to learn from babies. Babies, as part of their learning process, tumble, fall and when left to themselves, get themselves up and continue. At the same time, if anyone shows a visible concern, they start crying. They forget their auto-programmed response when someone shows a concern. Instead of getting themselves up after a fall, babies get confused by the concern shown by elders and start crying.

Same thing happens to adults also. Most of us seem to do well when we are left alone or in the company of 'mature' adults when we are going through some problems. Worst people to have around when we are dealing with a crisis are those with fear complex. They are more panicky than we are and make our condition worse. If you are sensible, when someone tells you that they have a problem, all you need to ask is 'how can I help?'. That's it. Do not ever try to offer advice and suggestions when the person going through the crisis has not yet figured out what the real problem is. If you know you get worried about someone's problem, leave the person alone. Once the person has figured out what his problem is, he can ask you for advice and you can offer all that you have to offer.

Soldiers returning from active duty were found to have a lot of problems. Mostly psychological. Initially doctors thought it was the trauma during the war that was the root cause of their problems. It was true to some extent. But, later they figured out, it was also due to the fact that soldiers were only partly occupied when they came back from active duty. It was lack of full involvement in some activity which caused them more problems than trauma suffered during the war. So, they devised what they called 'work therapy' or keeping them busy. Soldiers who came back from duty were let to unite with families on the base but were strongly discouraged to take time off unless they were physically hurt and needed to rest. Else, they were put on a full day regimen of work which included standard schedule of drills, on-the-base work, helping the community etc. Objective was to wear them out completely during the day so that they did not think and think themselves to getting sick. Work therapy works marvels for anyone. Less you think during the time of crisis is better. More you act opens up the possibilities. This is not to mean that you simply act recklessly and put yourselves in more precarious condition but you start doing something instead of analysis to paralysis. It is the action which gets you closer to solution to your problems than mere thinking.


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