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In military training, a soldier is required to do all sorts of things in the same run – climb ladders, crawl through tunnels, wade through muddy waters and jump over obstacles. A beginner learns the technique of each one of them, goes through a process of hit and trial, times his run, tweaks his act, and practices regularly to ready himself for the final practicals.   

In the entire process, it does not cross his mind as to why the hurdles are so many or why the rope climb so long. He simply takes the training format as given and proceeds with his job. It is this freedom from questioning the task at hand that allows him to channel his enthusiasm and efforts towards polishing his own performance, and eventually doing things that others consider unachievable. 

Acceptance of things as they are is the very first step that allows any learning to seep in. It brings along the gift of inner silence – a space where we can step back and make a clear sense of the scene – and the power to intervene with wisdom. When we no longer struggle with the thoughts of ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘how come’ on encountering situations and people, we are able to stay stable and positive, and tap into our creativity to deal with them effectively for we do not drain our energy resisting them.    

Acceptance does not mean being passive but to wilfully move in the direction where there is a way. It means to be able to distinguish between things that are in our control and those that are not, turning our attention to the former while leaving the rest alone. It does not mean that there is no desire for change but that any such desire is backed by a solution-oriented approach. In fact, the best way to making a difference is to first view the current situation non-judgmentally, embrace it as it is, and then sow the seeds of transformation.

Through acceptance we invite others on a common platform by mentally giving them a no-objection certificate. Even while having a disagreement, we do not withdraw respect. We disagree with their opinion, not them, thus making room for greater negotiation. Accepting people as they are keeps us from trespassing boundaries, and encourages us to do our best when the ball is in our court.