Before last Sunday, I was having a terrible week. I am no stranger to unfortunate events, bad luck and my own mistakes that have severe consequences, but this was one of the worst.
Through a combination of my own mistakes and absent mindedness, I lost alot of material things. While they should not matter, its still a waste of money and an annoying inconvenience.
Then there were incidents like getting poor marks for a group assignment in which we worked really hard for and having to deal with the knowledge that you know you deserved better but for some strange (and as yet unjustified reason) you did not.
Another incident was having water thrown at me by strangers for no reason. To top it off they were too cowardly to do it face to face, instead they sat in a car and drove off before I could do anything. It was not much, but it was still shocking and not very pleasant.
This was then followed by spending Diwali day at university and then going to pray at a temple that was empty and very un-temple like, if that a word. I mean it just did not portray a welcoming atmosphere and was very messy and disorganized. To be fair they were preparing for events of the next few days but still it was in stark contrast to the usual Diwali’s I had been used to and while I had not missed home till then, I very much did that night.
Luckily I went to Leicester to celebrate the Hindu new year and I was fortunate to spend it in some beautiful temples and with some truly amazing people. They raised my spirit and while it was not home, it was not too dissimilar.
Saturday dawned with terrible news of the terrorist attacks in Paris, Lebanon and Beirut. Having made many new friends from France, I felt especially bad about them and their families. In addition, it was the most carnage we had seen worldwide since a long time and it emphasized the threat of terrorism like never before.
I was really feeling down that night, it had not been a good week and I did not forsee it getting much better. I feared I was stuck in that same old cycle again and I braced myself for more…
Fortunately, Sunday was a whole lot better. For the first time in my life I went for Mass in a Catholic Church. A truly beautiful and enlightening experience. Places of worship are really peaceful and I strongly believe that it does not matter whether you believe in a God or not, or even in a different one, a place of worship is a place to reflect, pray and learn about different cultures and traditions.
On Sunday evening I went to a short prayer session my university had organized to pray and remember the victims of terrorism. It was heartening to see so many people come out in support, despite the short notice, poor weather and it being a sunday. It showed me that we need to fight, together we can do so much. Its not up to our governments, if we want to end terrorism, we have to do something about it. I do not know what, but I know I do not want to be helpless and do nothing. It must start somewhere, why not us.
I just want to end by talking about a really nice experience I had this evening. I went for a seminar on Positive Psychology by Andy Cope and it was truly entertaining and educational. It made me think and reflect and made me want to change the way I perceive the world and behave. He spoke about achieving potential, how happiness is a process, not a goal and that it is in our mind and if we choose to, we CAN be happy, it is that easy. Trivial problems that we encounter every day should be looked on as a challenge and that when trivial issues make you feel down or you experience negative emotions because of them, all you need to say is build a bridge and just “get over it mate”. This cannot be applied to serious issues like accidents or death, but if we want to live in the present and experience happiness NOW, that is what we need to do.
I have had a mixed week with more lows than highs, but now I want to alter the way I percieve experiences and I believe that no matter what trivial challenges life throws at me, I can just build a bridge and “get over it”. I am choosing to be happy and I am choosing to be my best self. Watch out world!
Till next time.