This island of peace

Casual comments can at times open fresh and complex lines of thought. A couple touring France was in Paris gazing at Rodin's 'Thinker', a sculpture housed in Rodin's Museum.

The figure is that of a man lost in thought. Said the man, 'I wonder what he is thinking about.' Laughed the woman in reply, 'Perhaps he is thinking of how to stop thinking!'

Anyone who cares to ponder over this remark will admit what a difficult task it is to stop thinking. The gift of reasoning, present at its expressive best in human beings, makes life for us rewarding as well as difficult.

While it gives us the pleasure of achieving new goals, it burdens us with the pressure that comes from attaining them.

Which of us has not from time to time wished to escape it all in some far-away retreat, enveloped in peace and quiet? But then, what makes us insensitive to the calls of greater achievement? And more baffling, why do we sooner or later yearn to get back to the hustle and bustle of an active life?

It is ironical that in spite of the many labour-saving devices we have invented, life is frenetic and fast-paced. The prevailing slogan is 24/7 and the urge to accomplish more has become the driving force in our lives. Deep within us however is a lingering ache, with the body and mind yearning for a respite of some kind.

"There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the sun," says the Bible.

If we care to notice it, we will see that all life answers to a set rhythm. It is a truth best exemplified by the recurring phenomenon of day and night.

A period for activity is invariably followed by a period for rest. This is what provides the balance needed for things to run smoothly. The human body and mind are no exceptions to this rule.

From time to time, we need to give them both a pause, a space in which to gather replenishment. While the body refuses to strain beyond a point, the mind can be driven mercilessly.

To sustain ourselves mentally and spiritually, each of us needs a state of equilibrium.

This is best cultivated by building our own island of peace.

All that this calls for is a little effort and will. One need not cross the seas or retire to the mountains to attain it for it is located within each individual's being.

The way to it opens up when we take time to spend a few minutes each day, reaching into our inner selves. We come face to face with our fears and hopes.

This helps us to assess them better and regain our composure. It is an exercise besides that restores strength, endows courage and brings a sense of calm.

Each one of us can reach his or her island of peace anytime, anywhere because it exists within and not outside us.


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