“If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?” [Rumi]
Rumi’s quote reflects the ability of individuals to like and endure rubs (while being emer-ied during life’s troughs)…
It is a fundamental quality of metals to have the ability to be converted into wires, sheets and various shapes, having been subjected to stresses, thermal conditioning, and many other engineering processes. Result is a high quality, good finish material in desired form. Well, the materials which do not have the quality to be improved by such processes are not important or valuable for us.
Human beings carry a similar story.
The more they endure, the better they are. The more pressure and stress they sustain, the more physical and mental stamina they possess. The more difficult state they are in, the more resilient they become. Although there is a limit to everything (for materials and as well as humans), but it is also a fact that stressors usually do not reach breaking point. The engineers know the limits of materials (through stress-strain charts, containing the yield strengths, tensile strengths and elastic / plastic regimes, etc) and condition the materials to respective limits only, so as to balance and trade-off qualities, performance and strengths.
The Creator knows human beings more than engineers know materials.
[“la nukallifullaho nafsan illa wus’ahaa” – “Allah does not burden any human being with a responsibility heavier than he can bear”. Al Baqarah – 286].
Pain teaches us about so many things. It tells us about our limits, and our ability to handle stress and our strain-points. It also tells us about others who came forward (to help us during rough times) and who did not. It also tells us that no matter how painful the experiences are, “this too shall pass”. It tells us to understand others’ pain, brings home empathy and compassion, help and support, and softens our hearts. It tells us that in after every trough, there’s a crest. It tells us that courage is the most important element of character.
When plants and hedges are not-gently trimmed, when fields are roughly plough-ed, when a prospective internee is rejected from yet another job, when soldiers from an artillery guns’ battery fire yet another round which is close to (but not on) target and receive a “feedback” that’s exactly on target, when voters slap another corrupt regime (like ours) to their own faces every five years………..all these “rubs” are essential for better days ahead. Every rub instills in us hope, strength to fight back, capacity to improve, ability to look back and see what went wrong, and so many such virtues….
[This post was contributed to Writer’s Haven blog, and was published there as comments on this post, as part of Rumi’s Legacy – a subject which connects us back to the direction we’ve lost over the decades and centuries. A commendable effort by Samana Syed.
My gratitude all the way for reading it through…..]