Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Soulveda  

There is a saying that if you change yourself, your luck will change automatically. This is no doubt what TS Eliot (d. 1965) had in mind when he suggested that if you find yourself in a hole, you should turn yourself into a ball.

Living in this world means facing a variety of problems—some created by nature, others by human beings. Whatever the nature of the problem, the wise man does not solve it in a direct, confrontational way. He is circumspect in his approach and makes due concessions to external circumstances which are beyond normal, human control. He avoids the kind of head-on approach that causes friction and builds up tension.

Taking care not to be over-rigid in his attitude, he is always on the lookout for the best via media. If he ever resorts to fighting, it is out of the sheer necessity to defend himself. Adaptability and the willingness to compromise in the face of difficult and changing sets of circumstances have been shown over and over again to be the keys to successful living.

Japan, in this respect, is one of the shining examples of modern times. Often rocked by earthquakes, it is a country that has suffered great losses in terms of life and property. But then, the Japanese, realising that an earthquake is a cataclysmic happening over which no one can have any control, began building with wood, bamboo and other lightweight materials instead of bricks and stones, so that there would be less danger to human lives if whole buildings collapsed, and material losses would be, in general, minimised. It was simply a question of bowing to the superior forces of nature.

Once the exact nature of a problem is understood, and we are willing to make strenuous efforts—sometimes on a very long-term basis—towards resolving it, a just solution can always be found.