- Why bad things happen to good people?
People often ask “Why these bad things happen to me? Please don’t tell me it’s your karma or fate”.
It may not be easy to find convincing answers for such questions. But let us see how a man changed the circumstances around him and still inspiring millions of people to change their own circumstance. He literally brought an empire down to its knees.
The man’s name was Mohan. He was a dull student in school. He used to be very shy and avoided all company. He used to be haunted by the fear of thieves, ghosts, and snakes. He did not dare to venture out of doors at night. It was almost impossible for him to sleep in the dark, as he would imagine ghosts coming from one direction, thieves from another and snakes from a third.
Later he studied Law, but fared no better in his legal career. He did not know how to apply legal principles to particular situations. His book-learning left him without any clue about how to help a client. No one would dare to give him a case. His colleagues began to refer to him jokingly as “brief-less barrister.” Having nothing else to do, he used to attend court every day to gain experience. But he had trouble following the cases and often dozed off in the middle of them. His first and only case was a routine, small claim. Following is a description of what happened in his own words.
“This was my debut in the Small Causes Court. I appeared for the defendant and had thus to cross-examine the plaintiff’s witnesses. I stood up, but my heart sank into my boots. My head was reeling and I felt as though the whole court was doing likewise. I could think of no question to ask. The judge must have laughed, and the lawyers no doubt enjoyed the spectacle. But I was past seeing anything.
I sat down and told the agent that I could not conduct the case, that he had better engage Patel and have the fee back from me. Mr. Patel was duly engaged for Rs. 51. To him, of course, the case was child’s play.
I hastened from the Court, not knowing whether my client won or lost her case, but I was ashamed of myself, and decided not to take up any more cases until I had courage enough to conduct them”. – Mohan
After few such attempts to succeed in life, he was exasperated. It was at that point that his life took one of those mysterious turns that some observers like to ascribe it to “fate” or “chance.”
Through his brother, a local firm offered to help him out with a year’s contract with its office in South Africa. It was a minor clerical position, well below the salary and prestige his education deserved. And it also meant separation from his wife, who had just borne them a second son. At that time it did not seem like much of an opportunity. But he jumped at the offer. It was, at least, a job, a chance to gain some experience and maybe an opportunity to send some money to his brother.
After a lengthy sea voyage, he landed in a town named Durban and was received by his client. Providence had lured him to what he was later to describe as ‘that God – forsaken Continent where I found God’.
Although the British and Dutch were altogether a small minority of the total population in South Africa, they treated both native Africans and Indians as less than human. Indians had been originally brought in eighteenth century at the request of the European settlers to help build their plantation economy. They had been lured as indentured labourers on a five-year contract with the right to stay on as free residents on their own.
In their path had followed merchants and other professionals. They were all looked down upon by the Europeans as outcastes and were contemptuously called ‘coolies’ or ‘samis’, irrespective of their occupation or status in society.
After about a week’s stay in Durban his client arranged for Mohan to leave for Pretoria, where his presence would be required for the lawsuit. Europeans in South Africa always travelled in first class whereas Indians were expected to travel in third class. But Mohan‘s law firm had reserved a first-class seat for him. When the train reached Pietermaritzburg at about nine in the night, a white passenger boarding the train objected to the presence in the compartment of a ‘coloured’ man. The following was what happened.
Not only in Mohan’s life, but in our own lives too there can be occasions when we become utterly clueless and helpless. We may want to achieve something greater, such as becoming an entrepreneur, scientist, artist or leader. Or else, we may face many challenges such as failure in examinations, failure in finding a job or in business ventures, conflicts in family or failures in relationships. Many people, unable to stand the failures, stress and anxiety, go to the extremes of committing suicide, murdering people or resort to other short cuts or wrong means to find solutions.
No matter whether rich or poor – we have one asset that is equally distributed among all – ‘Time’. Every one of us has precisely only twenty four hours in a day.
But, some people achieve wealth, power, fame and so on, with very little effort; others with great difficulty; still others fail altogether to reach their goals and ideals. Why is this so? Why should some people realize their ambitions easily, others with difficulty, and still others not at all? This e-book intends to answer such questions and help you succeed in life.
We cannot satisfy our stomach by mere reading a menu card about delicious foods. We must eat to satisfy hunger physically. Similarly this e-book won’t be of much use if you just read it for entertainment and put it aside. It will be more useful if you make it a practical guide in daily life. You need to comprehend the principles of life. Then you must apply them in everyday living so that you can make your life a beautiful piece of art.
This e-book can be described as a combination of the ‘Science of Life’ and the ‘Art of Living’, a manual for life, so to speak. Individual topics may seem incomprehensible in the initial reading. But you may understand the entire e-book in perspective, eventually.
Our mind-set is a product of parents, teachers, society, media etc. They shape our beliefs and influence how we understand and either accept or reject new information. Some concepts of this e-book may sound unbelievable or old fashioned. But don’t reject anything too early. Be more patient with unfamiliar words. Allow new concepts to sink in mind and expand you into new ways of thinking. They have survived the tests of time, and remain amazingly ever new, practical and universal.
The secret for a rich and meaning life has been indirectly mentioned several times throughout these chapters. If it is directly named, it may deprive you of the benefit and joy when you find it on your own. Hence it has not been directly named but merely uncovered and left in sight for those who are ‘ready and prepared’ may find it.
Will you find the secret?