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"How to cope with life in overcrowded cities "

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Bertrand Russell, the great philosopher, said ‘happiness depends partly upon external circumstances and partly upon oneself’. What then, when the external circumstances are such that they provide very little or no ease? Where a Mumbaikar is literally fighting tooth and nail for a piece of the pie – accommodation, admissions and even medical care! Would it be fair to say that it his only his ‘attitude’ or lack of it thereof which is the cause of his misery? That would be a misleading notion. Because environment does play some part in one’s well being. Imagine a person holed up in a dungeon versus one sitting comfortably in an air-conditioned living room? Who, according to you, would be more at comfort?

Considering the above, what is it that we can best do to calm our frayed nerves in the melee of over crowdedness?

Ironic as it sounds, accepting the unfortunate reality of what is, is, can be the best way of not compounding problems. By this I mean - do not add to your physical discomforts by creating needless emotional ones. And one of the ways we complex our lives is by demanding what should or should not be, when the fact in reality is that it already exists! Distinguishing between what can and cannot be changed can empower us to cope with inevitabilities. Understand, the operative word is COPE; not LIKE situations as they are!

Having accepted the inevitable, your energies can then be released to focus on things within your control. Going with an attitude of ‘How best can I use this unpleasant situation’, will go a long way in making use of the time on your hands when for example you are caught in a traffic jam.

Blaming, whether it is the authorities that be or fellow people, serves no purpose and in fact contributes to one of the most dangerous emotions of today’s time – rage! We could do well for ourselves emotionally, if we lived by the adage, ‘Accept and cope, rather than condemn and mope!


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