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On the ledge

-Arjun Gurung

Come to think of it, all of us are hikers on a mountain in our lives. The path is hard. We are forever hauling our bodies up the slopes, kicking our steps into a rocky surface. We may have to walk around obstacles and often penetrate our way through bushes and thorns that tear at our skins. The salty sweat burns as it meets the wounds. Yet we must carry on. Once up at the pinnacle, things may seem better. Standing on the top, we feel untouchable, invincible and indestructible, until we realize we’re standing on the edge of a cliff.

Stand at the edge of the cliff and scan the distant horizons. Peer at the disappearing depths below. What do you see?

A look at the distant horizons might show you the long journey you have to make. As an individual, you have so far to go, so many goals to reach. You may be reminded of the so many expectations that you have to live up to, for your loved ones. But as at this moment, it’s only you, alone, who is standing on that ledge. Nobody is besides or behind you. One sweeping view over the landscape and you see that you are so pathetically small in this wide world. It’s not fair but that’s the way it is. Stepping off the edge would be a lot easier. It’s only the hope within you that keeps you from falling off the cliff. Keep that hope alive.
Standing a few feet off the ridge, you understand that life is so unpredictable. You have so far to go and yet your next step could be your last. Ever since we were babies taking our baby steps, we’ve been tripping, stumbling, and falling on our way. With every fall we rise, we retry only to fall again. Falling isn’t so bad, if you can get back up again. What if you were to fall off the cliff you’re standing on? To fall off with all you’ve achieved and leaving behind all your aspirations, and being unable to get up? You picture yourself falling down but you shake your head clear before you hit the ground. Could that really happen? The thought of falling down still haunts your mind. You might even think of returning back to base.

Why should you feel afraid of falling? You regain your composure and think it over. You are at the top and it’s not crowded. There’s nobody to push you off the edge. If you fall, you should realize it’s going to be because of your own doing. We are the masters of our own fate. What happens to us is the result of our own actions. If you think you’re going to fall, you will. If you think you’re going to rise, you probably will. Whether you survive or perish, depends on what your mind is ready to accept. Unless we realize this truth, we will never be able to enjoy the success at the pinnacle or stay on it for long. The good thing is that a fall from the summit of success is nothing like falling off a cliff, though it may feel like so. You can still get up, dust yourself and start the climb again. That’s what life is. It’s just another mountain, just another climb.   

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