Inability to face life’s challenges may diminish us, but unwillingness to face life’s challenges will demolish us

We all face challenges in life. And some challenges are such that we are unequipped or underequipped to face them. At such times, we may become so disheartened that we may just lose our will to fight. 

If we are found wanting in ability, that deficiency is somewhat understandable. After all, we all are born with a certain amount of ability; our practice and diligence can improve our ability to some extent, but it can never entirely make up for inborn differences. A tone-deaf person can never become a Mozart. When we are unable to face life’s challenges, we may lose out on some things in life; we may be diminished on bowing before some challenges. 

While that may be painful for our ego, what will be far more shattering for our morale is if we are found wanting in will. If we cave in and give up, that failure will torment us lifelong; it may demolish our fighting spirit, our self-confidence, our faith. 

Let’s see how Gita wisdom made the able willing. At the start of the Bhagavad-gita (01.46), when Arjuna lost his will to fight, it was as if he had lost the fight without a fight. Krishna highlighted how Arjuna’s refusal would demolish him materially and spiritually. Materially because the loss of reputation would be unbearable. And spiritually because the alienation from the divine would take a long time to repair. 

By hearing the Gita, Arjuna’s morale was restored (18.73). His ability had never been in question, but his will had crumbled. Just as the Gita restored Arjuna’s will, so too can it restore and reinforce our will, provided we hear its wisdom systematically. 

When facing life’s challenges, we can maintain our will to use whatever ability we have. If we do what we can. Krishna will do what we can’t.  

 

Think it over:

  • Why is the inability to face life’s challenges understandable?
  • Why is unwillingness far more damaging than inability?
  • Amid difficulties, how can you strengthen your morale? 

 

***

01.46  Sanjaya said: Arjuna, having thus spoken on the battlefield, cast aside his bow and arrows and sat down on the chariot, his mind overwhelmed with grief.

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