The importance of pressure

In school and college, we have often come across Value Education (or Moral Science) books that extol the virtues of great personalities, who have  come up in life despite adversities. They have used the stones thrown at them by others as their stepping stones to success. They have faced hurdles, obstacles and have struggled with disparities that could have daunted the bravest and most resolute of persons. Yet, they have not given in, or given up on their dreams and despite their many a time despondent circumstances of poverty, hunger and deprivation, have forged the path to heady success and fame.

While the pages of history are rife with examples of such heroes and heroines, let me dwell on just two personalities who are children’s writers. We have all heard the name of J.K. Rowling thanks to the immense popularity of the Harry Potter books, but does one know that she faced enormous hardships and her family had to be provided welfare by the Government before she shot to fame? Yet, this gutsy lady of much grit typed her first Harry Potter book on a borrowed typewriter. 

Her travails did not end there, for she went from publisher to publisher, all or whom ruthlessly turned her down. Then, Bloomsbury, a British publishing house in London, decided to publish her book, and the rest, as they say, is history. The Harry Potter series has sold more than 400 million copies worldwide besides having been made into commercially successful movies.

Besides Rowling’s obvious talent, hard work and ability to read children’s minds on what writing appeals to them, she also avers that it was her penurious background that gave her the spurring on determination to succeed against all odds. Like her, Hans Christian Anderson, too, was a talented children’s writer, but hailed from a poor background with his father being a shoemaker and his mother  being a washerwoman. Yet, he had dreams in his eyes because for him success in his adverse situation was not an option but a necessity for survival. Eventually, he became one of Denmark’s most famous children’s writers, his fertile imagination helping him to write stories, like `The Ugly Duckling’, `The Emperor’s New Clothes’, `The Little Mermaid’, and `Thumbelina’. Here, pressure must not be taken negatively. It simply denotes a decisive will power and inner strength. Indeed, it is pressure that assists a caterpillar to metamorphose into a beautiful colourful butterfly. It is pressure that  makes the sand in a shell turn into a perfect white, shiny pearl. It is relentless pressure with which coal begins its beautiful journey to turn into a sparkling, scintillating diamond with fire.

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