Stay Calm No Matter What Happens
(Vinod Anand)

On any given day, our emotional state changes many times, one moment, something good happens to us and we are joyful. The next moment we receive a bad news and we start feeling sad. Then, we get a cheque in the mail unexpectedly and we are happy again. Next, on the way home, someone cuts us off on the highway and we are enraged.

When we get home and find our children received honours in school we are overjoyed. Thus, if we select any one day in our life, we will find a variety of moods and emotions playing out. Sometimes we go through longer periods of depression and sadness.

Some lose all hope. Many try to drown their pain in self-abuse and take to alcohol or drugs. Often we feel that we will never be happy again. How are saints and mystics different than us? Saints realize that the soul is eternal and changeless. Life is a passing show and the soul is an observer.

Sometimes we see happy periods and at other times, sad periods. When we identify with the passing illusion or show, we experience ups and downs in life. There was once a seeker who would meditate in a room for several hours each day.

He wished to solve the mystery of life. He would not speak to anyone but would stay in the room, meditating almost all day. One day, a dark cloud passed above the building, darkening the room. Once the cloud passed, the room became light again. Suddenly, the seeker came out of the room went into the street and began dancing and singing with joy. Seeing this, the master asked, “What has made you so happy and full of laughter today?” The seeker said, “I have just figured out the secret to life. All life is maya or illusion. One day the sky is clear.

Then a cloud comes and darkens the sky. Then, the cloud passes and the sky is clear again. Such are the events of our life. All the ups and downs in life will pass away also.” This simple realization brings forth a calm approach to life, revealing the fact that our true Self is the soul. The soul, a mere traveler in the physical world, wears a physical body and is given a physical mind even as we experience maya and the transitory nature of existence. Life is like theatre.

As the play progresses, there will be ups and downs in our role. We will have happy events and sad events. The key is to realize that each of them is like the clouds that too will pass. Although no one likes the sad parts, they will also pass. We should recognize their transitory nature and then move on. We should not become so caught up in them that we can no longer function.

We need to be patient and wait for them to go. Instead of reacting to happy and sad moods as the play of our life unfolds, we can learn to remain calm. We can avoid the ups and downs of life by realizing they will all pass. We should instead keep our attention on God and spend time daily in meditation. In this way we can remain in a calm state.

Then, like the seeker, we too can experience joy and laughter because we know that whatever happens is but a passing dark cloud that will blow away to leave the skies clear once again.

Author's Bio: 


Born in 1939, and holding Master’s Degree both in Mathematics (1959) and Economics (1961), and Doctorate Degree in Economics (1970), Dr. Vinod K.Anand has about forty five years of teaching, research, and project work experience in Economic Theory (both micro and macro), Quantitative Economics, Public Economics, New Political Economy, and Development Economics with a special focus on economic and social provisions revolving around poverty, inequality, and unemployment issues, and also on informal sector studies. His last assignment was at the National University of Lesotho (Southern Africa) from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that he was placed as Professor and Head of the Department of Economics at the University of North-West in the Republic of South Africa, and University of Allahabad in India, Professor at the National University of Lesotho, Associate Professor at the University of Botswana, Gaborone in Botswana, and at Gezira University in Wad Medani, Sudan, Head, Department of Arts and Social Sciences, Yola in Nigeria, Principal Lecturer in Economics at Maiduguri University in Nigeria, and as Lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Nigeria. Professor Anand has by now published more than 80 research papers in standard academic journals, authored 11 books, supervised a number of doctoral theses, was examiner for more than twenty Ph.D. theses, and has wide consultancy experience both in India and abroad, essentially in the African continent. This includes holding the position of Primary Researcher, Principal Consultant etc. in a number of Research Projects sponsored and funded by Universities, Governments, and International Bodies like, USAID, IDRC, and AERC. His publications include a variety of themes revolving around Economic Theory, New Political Economy, Quantitative Economics, Development Economics, and Informal Sector Studies. His consultancy assignments in India, Nigeria, Sudan, Botswana, and the Republic of South Africa include Non-Directory Enterprises in Allahabad, India, Small Scale Enterprises in the Northern States of Nigeria, The Absolute Poverty Line in Sudan, The Small Scale Enterprises in Wad Medani, Sudan, Micro and Small Scale Enterprises in Botswana, The Place of Non-Formal Micro-Enterprises in Botswana, Resettlement of a Squatter Community in the Vryburg District of North West Province in the Republic of South Africa, Trade and Investment Development Programme for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises: Support for NTSIKA in the Republic of South Africa, and Development of the Manufacturing Sector in the Republic of South Africa’s North West Province: An Approach Based on Firm Level Surveys. Professor Anand has also extensively participated in a number of conferences, offered many seminars, participated in a number of workshops, and delivered a variety of Refresher Lectures at different venues both in India and abroad. Dr. Anand was placed at the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla in the State Himachal Pradesh, India as a Fellow from 2001 to 2003, and had completed a theoretical and qualitative research project/monograph on the Employment Profile of Micro Enterprises in the State of Himachal Pradseh, India.