Hexagram 47 Oppression
Times of adversity are the reverse of times of success, but they can lead to success if they befall the right man. When a strong man meets with adversity, he remains cheerful despite all danger, and this cheerfulness is the source of later successes; it is that stability which is stronger than fate. He who lets his spirit be broken by exhaustion certainly has no success. But if adversity only bends a man, it creates in him a power to react that is bound in time to manifest itself.
No inferior man is capable of this. Only the great man brings about good fortune and remains blameless. It is true that for the time being outward influence is denied him, because his words have no effect. Therefore in times of adversity it is important to be strong within and sparing of words.
Living Bravely in Adversity
We are the captains of our fate and the masters of our destiny. If our will to persevere crumbles in the face of adversity, all is lost. In times of adversity, we must always be aware of the reasons we must prevail. Who or what are we fighting for? What are the reasons we must never give up? As long as we bide our time and refuse to surrender, we will find a way to prevail. What we need here is calm detachment and the belief that we will find a creative solution. Then, we must act to create or find that solution. And if our strength is not sufficient to resolve the problem, it is always a good idea to find help and support. This increases our chances of prevailing.
But what do we do when matters are out of our hands? There are no easy answers to this predicament. All we can do is to accept that adversity is happening and adapt as best as we can. Here, the serenity prayer comes to mind. But acceptance does not mean rolling over and playing dead. If we find one door closed to us, we just have to look for another alternative.
And what do we do about losing the people we love? While it is tempting to develop tunnel vision and to allow negativity to overwhelm us, it is here that we must remember the big picture. Nothing lasts forever, but life goes on. Time will heal our wounds, but the scars will remain. Yet these scars serve a special purpose. They are there to remind us of the times we shared with the people we loved. Now it is up to us to carry on their legacy bravely in our lives. Their influence in this world will live on through us. This is how we fulfil our responsibility to them and honour their memory. So let us live bravely and press forward. Only by doing so can we bring about good fortune in times of adversity and remain blameless.
How do you manage adversity? Are there any other instances of adversity that I might have missed out? What other ways can you think of to manage adversity? Do share your thoughts and comments below!