The ideal over the idle

The ideal over the idle

Few poems are embedded in our mind. One of them is “Lotus Eaters” by Alfred Lord Tennyson. The ambience of the poem enchants the warriors.

They have fought a 10-year battle and incidentally land on the island. Refuge is sought in this land where all things are drifted to inertia. The warriors eat the stem of lotus and are in a trance. The fatigued minds and bodies rest in the solace of bliss. Their duties are almost shirked as they seek an escape from reality.

Aren’t most of us like that? While the lotus stem is enticing, the leaf of lotus represent an ideal. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa advocates that one should be undaunted amidst the mire, like the lotus leaf. This type of existence proclaims positivity, while the life on lotus land is a surrender to the fervour of the terrain. The lotus land is an example of a life opted by many. It is chosen to escape the drudgery. In reality, we need to perform duty as long as we live. The sojourn to lotus land is delightful but transitory.

We often tend to find a resort to sublimate our woes. We think of escaping to some scenic spot, some exotic place. But we carry our circumstances along with us. Every change we need to adopt is often looked as a risk to be confronted. We aren’t prepared to face the brickbats of life. So an easy way to lighten our burden is opted, but a strong man lives through rough weather. He does not shrink in a world of idleness.

We often ‘cocoon’ ourselves so well that the shrill of a tragedy alarms us. A small lapse will plunge us. So we need to harness our mind and rear it in order to absorb the ebbs and tides. There will be no need to seek comfort in a lotus land if we are stabilised toughly. We need to perform our unique priorities, embrace realities, conquer grace and raise ourselves to the sublimity of a lotus leaf instead of drowning in stupor. We are born to cross hurdles, leap ahead and nourish the lives around us. Let us choose the ideal over the idle.

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