FOUR LESSONS IN THE FOG

 

fog

Despite the low visibility and traffic hazards, fog makes winters more enjoyable and somehow beautiful – adding a mysterious and mystical tinge to cold winter nights. Getting out of our homes or even on the balcony reveals an incredible natural wonder where all that was once visible is now lost in thick smog and even the most boring of imaginations may become home to creative movie scripts.

This overawing weather condition known as ‘fog’ is a bugle for Lahorites, and a few other cities, announcing the advent of winters. We enjoy it as a natural wonder and tackle it as an adversity, but there is more to it than just that. It isn’t just a cloud of smoke that comes every year, mystifies and then leaves shortly before the end of winters. There are lessons to be learnt from this fog, there are messages hidden inside this haze.

1. Set short term goals in life
While travelling in fog you are forced to determine your path with only the visible markings on the road as it facilitates staying on the right path. Similarly in life if you set short term goals, instead of long term, it would make your journey simpler and your path straighter with lesser chances of deviation.

2. Be prepared for, not worried about something that only ‘may’ be a reality
Fog keeps you from seeing obstacles in the distance and forces you to focus only on ones that are visible. In life we waste our time worrying, in anticipation, about problems that we only ‘may’ face in our future. In effect we lose precious moments of our life fretting about troubles that aren’t even in our lives yet, and there is only a possibility of having to face them. If we focus on the problems that already exist instead of wasting our energy and time on mere possibilities, our ability to tackle actual problems may be enhanced and solutions derived thereof may prove to be more effective. Consequently it may even reduce the probability actually having to face ‘probable’ problems.

3. Life is uncertain, avoid the illusion of certainty
When you travel in fog, no matter how familiar the road is or how frequently you tread on it, you never know what hides in the haze. In life too, no matter how experienced you may think you are you can never know what is waiting for you in the next moment. This awareness of the uncertain in turn strengthens your faith in God and allows you to leave the outcome to Him while all you have in your hands is the effort that you make. Life is all about these efforts and not their consequences, we will be judged for how hard we tried not for what we achieved.

4. The ability to see is useless if objects and surroundings are not visible
Fog does not in any way weaken our eyesight. If it was 6/6 before the fog, it most probably is the same in the fog. Yet when the fog hides all, even the best of eyes can’t see. This applies to life on so many levels. Often the truth hides in plain sight and our prejudices, bigotry, complexes, fears, phobias and our bias make it invisible. Being blessed with a sense of sight and sound does not automatically bestow the ability to actually see or hear. Often we are listening to others ‘speak’ but are unable to hear what they are ‘saying’ owing to the dense fog of preconceived notions, prejudice and chauvinism. And finally no matter how able you deem yourself to be, your abilities will always be dependent on external factors beyond your control.

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