The night is the darkest before dawn

One Pithy from my mother that keeps me going!

“The night is the darkest before dawn”

This seemingly innocent sentence from my mother has been my guiding light through dark times in life. It taught me that Life is about holding on. Not losing your nerves. Simply waiting it out if much cannot be done.

Toughen up. Bad times can never outlast us.

It was my first month at engineering college.

Slap, slap, slap, slap, slap — went the sound of seniors’ palms connecting with our cheeks. We are all standing in a row, without as much as flinching at each slap meted out to us. No crying, no blocking and no flinching.

I realised that It is the adversity that brings out what we truly are. A couple of my batchmates swooned, a couple broke out into loud sobs, one tried faking extreme pain and a vision loss but was taken for an even bigger ride once discovered. I personally took it on to see it through. There is an end to the savageness, I reasoned. And that should be very soon. I saw the rough period through — well becoming the ‘Man’ in my eyes that felt like a major step to adulthood.

I stood there, like the steadfast tin soldier from Andersen’s fairy tales. There were times where I felt like quitting, like giving up. That would have made me fall in my own eyes. I did not yield. I kept repeating this to myself:

“The night is the darkest before dawn, and very soon it will be light!”

This is among the many gems of advice that my mother brought me up on. Be it exams, a terrible injury, a failed relationship, interviews, fought out sport selections, homesickness or one of the many instances that seemed like the pits, this was the advice that helped me hold on. This had an accompanying partner:

“Do your best and god will do the rest”

So, I used to do the best I could and leave it to god to take care. For the situations which were bleak despite my best of errors, I just held on, waiting for the dark night to yield to the crimson sunrise.

And yes, when the dawn breaks, it is a beautiful sight, worth the wait.

So, dig your feet in and hold on. You are much stronger than you think you are.

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Bharath Kumar Balasubramanian

I transform organisations. I collect life experiences. I share practical wisdom. Happy to Help — Just reach out!