Life is all about dealing with our given situation. This situation is individual to us. Even as siblings, our apparent common ‘given situation’ is different. It is because our temperament and our talent decide how we perceive our given situation. This gives us a specific destination in our journey of life.
Life flows, like the river. It is sometimes calm, sometimes rapid, sometimes quiet, sometimes rocky. Our destinations may be individual, but the nature of the path is the same — unknown. We don’t know what to expect along the way. This makes our journey interesting. And to survive, we learn to read the river.
The river has two very distinct lessons to teach us. The first being, its forward movement. The river never flows backwards. Like the river, our life also moves ahead, it waits for no one. To want to hold on to it or go back in time is a futile and a frustrating exercise.
The river moves along a certain path. It is taking us somewhere. We need to submit to it, with trust, even if the current is wild, it’s best to ride it out. If it’s taking us through a certain path, it will even equip us with the ability and the courage needed to ride it out. If we try to avoid it by going in the opposite direction we aggravate our suffering and our struggle. In fact, it is not conducive for our survival, it’s wisest to move ahead with the current. We emerge richer in experience and are empowered to face the next rapids.
The second lesson is that ‘You never step twice into the same river. ‘The river is all about movement, change and flow. No two days or situations are alike. It’s changing moment to moment. Either the situation changes (object) or we start to perceive things differently (subject) because we grow and evolve every day. To assume that our situation is permanent, whether good or bad, is to take the river for a pond or a lake. And when we do so, we experience staleness.
Whereas, the river is ever fresh because it is ever flowing, ever changing.
Sooner or later we are bound to reach the destination, because that is what we are here for. It is the promise of the river, to take us to our specific destination, irrespective of our given situation. The given situation is our backdrop, the scenery through which we pass along the way. And which keeps changing constantly, sometimes favourable sometimes unfavourable. But how we travel the distance — with trust or in fear, decides how smooth or rocky our journey is.
And once again, the choice rests with us — ‘to trust or not to trust’ the ever flowing, ever changing, ever fresh — ‘river of life’.