Rainbow and the rain

“I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden. Along with the sunshine, there’s got to be a bit of rain sometime.” This 1970s hit song has a wealth of meaning in its lyrics.

The song infers that life is neither a smooth sailing nor an always optimistic, sanguine set of experiences akin to fun-filled trips to Disneyland every day. Life has its ups and downs, its peaks and troughs, and its mountains and valleys. Along with the hunky-dory times, there are bound to also be obstacles, hurdles and debilitating problems and intransigences. Even “lucky” and “successful” people face vicissitudes, traumas and tragedies, which can unhinge and unnerve one, if one is not mentally prepared.

The gist of all this is that God does throw in misfortunes that one should take as a challenge and overcome courageously and without rancour or misgivings. It is relieving to acknowledge that God in His grace does not give excessive or unbearable trauma, but only what is within that individual’s tolerance limit. God also in His mercy sees to it that this little testing ordeal does not overwhelm one. This makes it mandatory for the victim not to fume and fret but to take it with a modicum of the correct attitude and spirit.

Former Prime Minister of India, the late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, reiterated that only if one experiences the depths of pain and pathos will one be able to relate to and appreciate the peaks of happiness and satisfaction. If, in one’s life, there are no challenges, one would become laid-back and complacent and take life for granted. On the other hand, if one has to struggle through trying times, one will emerge wiser and more experienced and will definitely be in a better position to appreciate God’s creations. As the saying goes, “With no pain, there is no gain.”

Nowhere is this truer than in the classic novel, ‘Silas Marner’. Silas Marner was initially a very grouchy and parsimonious man. Due to this lonely, single status, he spends all his time hoarding gold coins. One day, much to his chagrin, the bag of gold coins is stolen, leaving him feeling bereft and morose. Then, while brooding over his loss, he seems to see the golden coins, and while reaching out for them, he realises that these are the golden curls of a lovely untouched child. From then on, he spends his whole time, energy and resources in adopting and looking after this child, which gives him immense happiness. Truly, in this classic, one can infer that in many cases, loss is balanced by gain, and when God takes away something, it is usually because He wants to give you something better!

One should, therefore, take problems in the correct perspective by facing them boldly and courageously, without getting embittered. That way, one can turn a victim into a victory, a trial into a triumph, and a mistake into a mission. Indeed, the former famous actress, Dolly Parton, put it very succinctly, “The way I see it is that if you want a rainbow, you HAVE TO put up with a bit of rain.”

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