life follow its own tide
There is a tide in the affairs of
men. / Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; / Omitted, all
the voyage of their life / Is bound in shallows and in miseries. / On
such a full sea are we now afloat, / And we must take the current when
it serves, / Or lose our ventures.
William Shakespeare in Julius Caesar Act 4, Scene 3
If you ever went to the beach as a child, you will know what happens
to sandcastles when the tide comes in. You build this fantastic sand
castle, on a visit to the beach. Then the tide starts to creep in. What
do you do? You slap a retaining wall around your castle. You frantically
dig trenches to divert the water, but it is all to no avail.
The tide is a power that cannot be stopped; and finally, your
beautiful castle is gone. No trace of it remains. Thus, time and tide
wait for no one is an English proverb that tells us to work with time
and tide, not against it. So often in life, we try to hold out against
the tide. We want the cool and comfortable months of the rainy season to
last longer. We do not want to age and grow old. We cling to a love, a
relationship, or friendship that has lost its substance.
We fall sick and are in denial about our illness. We realise not,
that it is important to be in harmony with time, with seasons, with the
tides of our life; for the tide keeps its course, whatever be its
Therefore, do not try to stop the waves from rolling in, or the sun
from rising. In the end, the waves will roll, the sun will set, and
death will come. The only thing you have a choice in is how you deal
with it, when it does happen. Hence, if, and when the tide of life turns
against you; and the current upsets your boat; do not waste tears on
what might have been. Just lie on your back and float; and ride the
waves. Life consists of moments stitched together; and no one can ever
judge, what tide and time has in store for you.
But always remember that the lowest ebb is the turn of the tide and
there will come a rising tide that lifts all boats. Therefore, give wind
and tide a chance to change; because, the tide never goes out so far but
it always comes in again.
Often we give up, just before the tide of fortune turns. The stories
of successful people show that it is important to keep on going - even
beyond what seems reasonable. When we try to effect a change, we have to
be patient. It sometimes takes a while for a change of course to show.
Thus, be patient. Do not dig out a plant to see if its roots are
I have noticed that when we try to change something major in our
life, there is a difficult point - the lowest ebb. That is when you can
see clearly, what needs to be changed; but it seems impossible. Courage
and faith are at its lowest ebb at such moments.
However, when you look back, you realise that it is exactly at that
low moment that the beginning of change was marked. Sometimes in the
ocean of life, there is a rip current. With rip currents, there is a
powerful flow of water going back out to sea and the natural reaction of
the swimmer is to panic and swim directly toward the shore to safety.
However, this is the most dangerous route. Many swimmers die from
drowning - not because of the rip current itself, but because of the
exhaustion of fighting it.
The safest route for the swimmer is either to swim parallel to the
shore or to flow with the current further out to sea.
This way the swimmer does not spend much energy fighting the rip
current. Sadly, many swimmers die in rip currents every year. If they
had been taught to, "go with the flow"; they would have saved their
Hence, bear in mind that despite the sea of life being wild, and the
waves rolling away from the shore, the tide always returns; and after
every ill wind, the well wind will return.
Like the ocean, life ebbs and flows. "Smooth seas do not make
skillful sailors" is an African proverb. The winds, the sea, and the
moving tides are what they are to the ocean as they are to life.
There is a Thai saying to the effect that "at high tide fish eat
ants; at low tide ants eat fish." What it means is that it is in the
nature of ants to drown in water when the tide rises, and for the fish
to eat them. Likewise, it is in the nature of fish to die when stranded
in low tide, and ants to eat them.
All of this is dependant on the tide, and is an example of the circle
of life - for everything there is a season...When bad things happen, it
may be difficult to stay calm; but if instead, we thrash around in
panic, we are sure to drown; and become like sand castles in the tide,
slowly washing out to sea.
The captain of a ship can run a great ship, but he cannot do anything
about the tides. Similarly, we may lead a great life, but cannot do much
to shape the events of life other than to accept them as they unfold. As
the tides of life rise and fall, life will not remain a constant.
Persistence is the key in high and low times.
Life is not fair - get used to it! The world does not care about your
The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel
good about yourself. Flipping burgers in a fast food joint is not
beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger
flipping: they called it a start, an opportunity. You will not make
Rs.600,000 a year right out of high school.
You will not be a vice-president of a company with a smart phone
until you earn both. Instead, if you mess up your life aiming for the
sky at the start of your life, it is not your parents' fault. So do not
whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
Before you were born, your parents were not as boring as they are
now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes,
and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before
you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation,
try delousing the closet in your own
We are all identical drips and drops of people, hovering, waiting to
be tossed and turned, waiting for someone to show us the way, to pour us
down a path. Instead, transform yourself into a beautiful person.
The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known
suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of
the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and
understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a
deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen, they become.
Recognize that happiness in life is not a matter of events; it depends
upon the tides of the mind.
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