Life, thy name is adjustment

Life, thy name is adjustment

Though change is inevitable, humans are supposed to be the most adjustable of all species! Yet, ironically, difficult situations and relationships stare at us every step! Our teacher once narrated how an American couple's honeymoon ended in divorce over coffee, because the wife wanted it with milk while the husband preferred black coffee! It may be a joke, nevertheless it shows the importance of adjustment in life which is less 'giving in' and more 'living with those who are different from us'!

While instances of siblings, neighbours, spouses or families who cannot or do not get along are aplenty, taken individually, each of them is an excellent human being. Then where lies the fault? 'Adjustment' is the answer. A newborn baby forced out of the warm safety of the mother's womb into the cold, noisy world settles down after a few wails. But, positive and negative qualities like perfectionism, preferences, likes, dislikes, prejudices, superstitions, ego, stubbornness that she acquires in life's journey hampers his capacity to adjust.

Adjustment in life is a broad spectrum, including adjustment with people, circumstances, situations and oneself. A woman merging into her marital family, a neighbour ignoring the sick baby's wails next-door, a guest appreciating the ways of the host's diverse family, a broke person revamping his life to suit his changed financial status, a disabled person taking charge of her life — all of this, no matter how difficult or painful, exude thoughfulness, acceptance, empathy, maturity, grace and a practical approach to life.

The Pandavas in Mahabharata or Lord Rama in Ramayana, used to the ways of the palace, lived in the forests for years together. Birds of the same feather flock together, yet differences may arise because every one of us is unique, in our thoughts, feelings, looks and worldviews. 'Agreeing to disagree' should be the mantra of life.

A pinch of salt balances out a spicy curry, a piece of sweet turns a simple meal regal, a spoonful of pickle comes to the aid of bland vegetables on the plate, a squeeze of sauce enhances the taste of a samosa, a blob of butter is the best way to tackle dry rotis... These are not restricted to meal plates but are lessons in amicable compromise in day-to-day life and a path towards peace.