The power within us

“The mass of men,” believed Henry David Thoreau, “lead lives of quiet desperation.” This could not be truer today than it was centuries ago when the American philosopher voiced his observation about the human condition. Quietly accepting to move with the flow, scores and scores of us lead dull and apathetic lives, hoping for lady luck or a lottery to come along and change it.

The truth, however, is that lady luck and lottery can never change lives permanently. At best, they can give us some respite from life’s mediocrity. Ultimately, to see a changed circumstance and life, we need to look for the power within us rather than to seek it from external sources. 

Charles Haanel, the American author and philosopher said, “There is a world within — a world of thought and feeling and power; of light and beauty, and although invisible, its forces are mighty.” This explains how a mother, frail and weather-beaten, in a fit to save her child trapped under an automobile becomes strong as Hercules.

Likewise, a frightened and timid boy chased by a pack of hounds gets the courage to jump a fence he would not attempt in his sober senses. Similarly, a mediocre man fighting for his country with his heart and soul becomes a soldier of extraordinary valour. In each of these situations, the untouched power resting within was somehow kindled, with the result that it was tapped and used.

Not all of us would have our children trapped under an automobile or be chased by hounds or go to battle. To wait for such situations to tap the stored power within us would be to waste that precious reservoir of strength. Instead, if we were to dig deep within and unearth the reserves of power, and then put them to use, we could well be on the road to leading more fruitful lives. Though this involves constant work, its results are rewarding. 

As Gugu Mona, a South African author and poet said, “Never underestimate the power within you, because you may be the only person in the universe to solve a specific problem.”

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