If Winter Comes, Can Spring Be Far Behind?
Life – a mixture of joys and sorrows
This is the last line in the famous “Ode to the West Wind” written by the renowned Romantic Poet, P.B. Shelley. Shelley was an optimist and despite his depiction of the prevailing gloom, he believed in the final triumph of a glorious future for mankind. In his poem “Hellas,” he says,
“The world’s great age begins anew.”
Even Tennyson, the representative poet of the Victorian age, says,
“Ring out the old, ring in the new.”
The same poet says,
“Old order changeth, yielding place to new.”
John Keats, another Romantic poet and a contemporary of Shelley says,
“There is budding morrow in every midnight.”
Thus, most of poets and thinkers agree that darkness and gloom cannot last forever. Even if one takes the meaning of Shelley’s line literally, we have to realize in the context of climate, that even the cruelest winter has, at last, to yield to spring, just as even the darkest night has to accept defeat at the hands of the approaching light of the rising sun as dawn shows its face in the east.
It is truly said that life is a mixture of joys and sorrows. Joys and sorrows are often compared to a pair of shoes. We do not wear only one shoe. We have to wear both the shoes. Only then the pair can be complete. Similarly, if we accept joys, we have to accept sorrows also. There is no escape route for us from either of the two.
A state of misery may have to yield to a state of prosperity
It is often seen that even a poor man if he works persistently and meticulously, finally succeeds in getting rid of his poverty to a great extent. If a man’s present is miserable, it is not impossible for him to change his misery into a period of prosperity. Only he has to make conscious and honest efforts.
It is rightly said that there is a silver lining in every cloud. There is essentially a ray of light at the end of the tunnel. Germany and Japan were badly battered in World War II. Both the countries presented a miserable state of affairs after the war. But by being optimistic and working hard with well-planned conscious efforts, they have succeeded in overcoming all their problems. Today, both these countries are among the tallest economies in the world.
It is said that Gandhiji was not quite good at studies at school. But he had a very strong character. He was always truthful and honest. Once he refused to copy from the slate of another student the word “kettle” even when his teacher encouraged him to do so, and we all know what unachievable heights of greatness he reached later in his life. Thus, it does not mean that a student or child who seems dull or even stupid, may actually be so. His period of dullness may not last long or forever. He may show some new faculties undiscovered previously.
Like Gandhiji, Einstein and Churchill were also said to be quite dull students at school. Now, as we know, one became one of the greatest scientists in the world the other became one of the greatest statesmen of the world and the most popular Englishman. How did all this happen? It was because they had some qualities which were hidden or were not evolved in their childhood. As they grew up, their qualities developed and got revealed in the proper atmosphere.
It all means that we should never give up hope. We should not entertain imaginary fears. We should stick to optimism in all circumstances. This is the clear and loud message that Shelley’s famous line conveys to us –
“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”