Sometimes we are tested in life with tragedies, setbacks and crises such as personal illness, social unrest (lke the London riots in 2011) or political instability or persecution (like what has been happening to the people in the Middle East and in Burma). Some people are destroyed by these events while others survive and then develop strengths, skills and perspectives that they did not have before the test.
In Greek mythology there is the story of a wrestler who gets stronger every time he is defeated and thrown to the ground. In world history there are great figures like the prophets Abraham, Moses, Jacob, Joseph and Mohammed. Each of these people have faced situations that seemed unbearable and hopeless, yet later on they survived, recovered and developed to achieve great things which seemed unimaginable or impossible for them to accomplish in their moments of crisis.
There have also been great kings and emperors who began in humble and desperate circumstances or faced a great loss in the middle of their lives and survived life threatening crises to achieve things not accomplished before by anyone or by very few afterwards.
Many ordinary soldiers and civilians also have lived through tragedies that at first seemed to mean the end of their useful lives but yet have gone on to achieve things that have astounded the world. People like Helen Keller, Louis Braille, Douglas Bader and many others who have survived sudden accidents, illnesses, wrongful imprisonment, torture and displacement and yet gone on to amaze the world with their achievements.
In recent times many children and young people in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Korea, Palestine, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Kashmir, Rwanda, Bosnia, Chechnya, Arakan, Syria, Lybia, Iraq and Afghanistan have been tested by losing their homes, family members, possessions, health and even limbs. Some have died. For the others there is a choice. To continue in depression or desperation or to survive, persevere, revive, dream, visualise and achieve as much as they can with whatever they have left. They have a second choice, to compete with and hinder others from sucess or to seek out mutual areas of interest, overlaps in objectives and projects and cooperate together to build a better world for everyone and a better life story for themselves like the prophets, rulers and ordinary people mentioned above.
The first step is to learn the stories of those people and understand how they thought and what actions they took in their struggle to bounce back from tragedy and achieve what is amazing.
Mohammed Mominur Rahman.