Essay No. 182:
It Is Better To Have Fought And Lost Than Never To Have Fought At All: The maxim drives a lesson to man that he should continue fighting against adverse forces in life. Struggle is the essence of life. Those who shun making a struggle are wiped out of the arena of life. The mettle of man is tested at the time of crisis and adversity. If he surrenders to the hostile forces, he surrenders permanently to life.
That is unbecoming of man, who is a supreme creation of Allah, endowed with a will and determination to overcome all that comes in his way to thwart his onward march to explore new horizons in life. The story of human civilization is the story of advance form a lower to a higher level by accepting series of carried challenges and providing responses to them in a adequate measure.
Man is born to face challenges of life by fighting valiantly against unfavorable forces. Man can bulldoze adversity through his determination. God create night (darkness) and man discovered lamp to counter darkness. Man through his will has been struggling hard against the resistance of nature, and ultimately has succeeded in subduing nature to his control.
If he were to give in before forces of nature, he would not have succeeded in taming nature to his advantage. It is through continuous struggle of research that man is out to discover the secrets of spatial bodies. If he were to sit silently, he would have been drowned in sheer lethargy, inaction, which are anti-progress forces in life.
There is an Urdu verse:
تندی بادِ سے نہ گھبرا اے عقاب
یہ تو چلتی ہے تجھے انچا اڑانے کے لیے
[O eagle, don’t get upset at the blowing of unfavorable wind, it blows to upgrade your flight.]
Man thus should not be cowed down by failures in life. Failures are regarded as stepping stones to success. All that is required is that man should not lose heart over timely failure. Failures are the result of certain causes. The causes need to be identified rather objectively to avoid them in future course of action. Instead of shedding tears of helplessness, man should make a resolve to once again start a project with renewed determination to avoid causes of past failure.
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Man should ever flex up his muscles to accept new challenges for life is a series of new challenges to be shouldered heroically. There is no guarantee that man would succeed in overcoming a given challenge in the first attempt. Mountaineers face innumerable hazards but they do not give up determination and courage.
Many times they are chased by hostile nature to move forward. They are made to come back to their base camp. They do not sit indolently over their timely reverses. Rather they muster up courage to once again have a plunge to unknown hazards and dangers. Even if the expedition fails, it poses a challenge to the writ and determination of mountaineers. They may try their luck again. The failure of today does not mean failure of tomorrow. There is an Urdu verse:
مقابلہ تو دلِ ناتواں نے خوب کیا
[The weak heart competed very well]
There is a Punjabi verse by Mian Muhammad Baksh (RA)—The author of Saif-ul-Maluk:
مالی دا کم پانی دینا’ تے بھر بھر مشکاں پاوے
مالک دا کم پھل پُھل لانا’ لاوے یا نہ لاوے
[The job of a gardener is to give water to plants by filling in the leather bucket with water, however, it lies with the discretion of the Creator to make the plants bear fruit or not.]
So one should not sit in desperation over a failure, rather one should be up and doing to try again, since failure contains the seeds of success in its bosom.