Two stories of Resilience: Challenges into opportunity

“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars”. (Tagore)

The story started in the beginning of this century. It was a rainy July afternoon. Just a year back, I joined as an assistant professor in a girl’s college. I nourished a lot of dreams, innumerable challenges-challenges in the path of science education for women particularly in the under privileged areas with most of the first generation learners. The ecosystem of education particularly Science was very poor and fragile with lot of haves not. One of my senior colleagues was seeking my opinion for the induction of honors course in natural science (Plant science) in college courses. There was no room to think second time. Instantly, I conveyed my awesome pleasure. The journey was set in. Initially, a limited number of students joined us in this endeavor. Now, we are at the threshold of the silver jubilee of this journey. A lot of challenges but we have made the challenges into the opportunity to enlighten the girls with the magic of reality. Every year, a significant number of students are joining with us to have the fragrance of the essence of the truth. Let me to introduce the most recent unfortunate nightmare of COVID19.Though my usual journey with YouTube during my solitude to get relief, cold waves was visiting my chilled study room at night far from Wuhan. Like most other Indian, I also did not pay attention but listened the melancholy tune. This was strengthened by my shallow viral knowledge as a part of my professional attachments. The winter faded away as usual.”If winter comes, can be the spring far behind”. The fire of forest set in amidst the worship of goddess of learning.1, 2, 3, 4 — — — 100 information were spreading and most of the contamination became as a part of foreign attachments. But “Man proposes and God disposes”. Lock down was declared in the March. The saga of the first phase of lock down was the tsunami of sufferings. Millions of homeless labors came down the streets of the highways and scorched molten roads. How can I forget the face of the little 8 years girl of Telangana set foot for the sweet home? Jamlo is no more. Like Jumlo, thousands did lose their dreams-dreams of life, destiny and determination, untold sea of sufferings of millions across the globe. My children of ferny floor became in a dilemma. Limited resources did not make any obstacles in our journey of man making endeavor. But what is next? I instantly decided to turn the unavoidable challenges into opportunity. Not so called COVID warriors as portrayed in main stream media, but as a disciple of natural sciences, to explore the beauty of life, the magic of reality as I do believe “A thing of beauty is joy forever”. I learnt from my gone days-A resilient sprit is an asset. Challenges are in every sphere –from the very birth for inspiration to take the last breath. From individual life to mass whether in society or country, challenges are in every spheres. Now, the million dollar question is how to challenges becomes an opportunity? In a word, a resilient spirit becomes an awesome asset to transform challenges into opportunity. Perspective to overview the challenges, honesty to move forward and openness to address the challenges may become boost up your resilient sprit to gear up. Before addressing the challenges, the following strategies can help to understand the gravity of the challenges: First define the crisis. The crisis may be hidden or it may takes a long time to measure the magnitude or it may come through a series of events. Secondly, raise the fundamental questions to unfold the crisis to find whether it is a linear dynamic with particular trajectory or it is the outcome of various cycles. Thirdly, re-frame the problem looking the issues through a different lens to widen the aperture to more than see a problem. After analyzing all the aforesaid issues, then comes the solution of the problems being faced. The following mantras can transform challenges into someone’s big opportunity either in personal or mass endeavor.1) Alter the attitude –Any immediate response to any set of situation is the outcome of the addressing a set of algorithm circuited by a parallel chain of neurological outputs. So, the right mindset garnished with positive optimistic algorithm only can bring a ray of hope to mitigate the challenges .2) Give clear directions-A correct roadmaps and its execution successfully either individually or mass can lead to a great and impactful results in times of any unforeseen crisis or unfortunate happenings.3) Stay ambitious yet calm-leaders are not born but made and it is very familiar usage. An ambitious mind with calm and cool passionate outlook only can sail the boat amidst lot of waves.4) Prioritizing is a key-An individual has a to-do-list that can prioritize the needful and with full compatibility, the execution can be done maintaining a proper algorithm and this only can transform the challenges into opportunity with the coveted success. Always we should keep in mind that life is an amazing journey and we can get to choose whether we experience it fully or not. We believe-“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”.

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Nandadulal Sannigrahi

Nandadulal Sannigrahi

Associate Professor at Nistarini College Purulia, West Bengal