“The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d ever believe in the first glance” ~ Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keepers
Why is it that some people suffer from real hardships yet achieve their goals? We have seen this happening all around us. For most of us who are reading this feature, it seems so hard to bring back the confidence after we have had a layoff. Persistent failure is bound to make most frustrated and give up to the ‘ways’ it is meant to be. However, those that become the role models take that extra step to try again and again and win over the normal circumstances. They are as human as we are and neither was born with amazing powers we dare not seek for. So what makes them win while we seem to fail?
Scaling the Everest is easier said than done. Clearly, it will take an enormous and unusual level of dedication and focus to simply decide that you want to attempt the job. If this is not test enough, climbing the whole 24,000 feet of freezing snow, running from avalanches and making it to the other side with less than a foothold for kilometers will certainly make you sit back and aspire. For Jamling Tenzing Norgay, climbing was never in the books. His father, the legendary Tenzing Norgay Sr. said to his son once “I climb mountains, so that you won’t have to look for a livelihood”. As it is, Jamling as a teenager was sent to United States to graduate in business management. However, after living there for 10 long years, his urge to follow the footsteps of his father finally gained momentum. In 1995, Jamling was presented an offer to scale the Everest by a film-maker and he immediately grabbed the opportunity.
The start wasn’t an easy one and even before his expedition, the family priest had warned of calamities and possible deaths. Undaunted, Jamling and his team carried on with 120 yaks, 70 ladders and 15 people. They were prepared for a two months hike which wasn’t supposed to be easy at any second of the journey. On May 10th, nine of the fifteen climbers lost their lives to nature’s demands and the rest were scared enough to carry on. However, for Jamling nothing could stand between his aspirations. People succumbed to altitude sickness, severe weight loss, intestinal sickness, brutal weather, homesickness, and “objective dangers” like getting crushed under the Khumbu Icefall. It is only the burning desire to be at the top that can keep your spirits high and your feet moving. Jamling successfully completed the mission in 1996 which was also the year of the one of the worst mountaineering disasters.
“The view from there only reminds how much more of the world there is to see and learn for,”
~ Tenzing Norgay
Adora Svitak is just 15 years old and has taken up the responsibility of spreading literacy in the no-so-forgiving parts of the globe. She has been teaching in more than 500 schools through video lessons and is already an established poet, published author, essayist, blogger, literary activist and feminist. She says that more than 775 million adults in this world lack literacy, 60.7 million children haven’t ever been to school and more than two-third of these demographics is a girl child – ignored and unaccounted. She has dedicated her life to a cause when most children would like their parents to buy a PlayStation. She has been exploring her options since the age of four and seeking ways to instill the eagerness to learn and get educated in the kids of her age and even beyond.
“A baby can be born today and condemned to a life of hardship, struggle, and discrimination simply because of sex is enraging”. Success, she says is the right of every woman and it is not likely that every little girl seeks comfort in the company of pink Barbies and frilly clothes. It is by getting more informed that one can get more responsible and capable and this applies not only to students but even adults. Her efforts have really bore fruits and there are so many kids looking up to her lessons and lectures across the globe.
“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.”
~ Elizabeth Edwards
Nothing is really impossible in this world if you are willing to focus all your efforts into it.