The other day I heard a small story, that I don’t know where it originated from or whether it’s true or not, I just had to share it. A powerful king gathered a group of wise men to think of something to carve on his ring. He wanted this ring to work in a way where it would make him happy if he is feeling miserable and that every time he is sad, the ring would make him feel better and happier. After long continuous deliberations, he was given a ring with the phrase ‘this too shall pass’ etched on it.
I thought about the validity of this phrase for so long as it triggered my inner curiosity, and I couldn’t think of any reason to why it would be invalid. ‘This too shall pass’ achieves the desired consequence of feeling happy when one is sad and vice versa. Anyone feeling tired, pessimistic, exhausted and just wanting to finish whatever is driving him/her insane, thinking that time will eventually move and this is all temporary is emotionally relaxing and mentally comforting. However, the other side of it stings. When one is exhilarated with life and the mind is completely relaxed, thinking that the current positive condition is also temporary could be a painful moment-ruining realisation. Abraham Lincoln referred to something like this in his 1859 speech, where he says: “And this, too, shall pass away. How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!”. Lincoln captured the effect of this phrase as it really does painfully restrain our happiness in moments of joy, and comforts our souls in painful situations.
I probably like using ‘this too shall pass’ nowadays as I am coming into a difficult phase but I know I will not be thrilled with its effect when I am sitting back on my comfy chair and reading or when I am gathered around my favourite people talking and catching up, or when I am enjoying a moment of accomplishment. Perhaps the best thing to do is to TRY and enjoy the moment we are living in, whether it inflicts happiness or pain, one should live it.
To anyone on the peek of the mountain of happiness; appreciate and live every moment as ‘this too shall pass’. To anyone out there currently under a very strenuous situation, hold on and remember: ‘this too shall pass’.