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‘Struggle’ is a beautiful word, as I am beginning to learn. Like love – all pervasive, touching all creations, leaving indelible marks and transforming into life lessons.

Somewhere in the history of mankind, the word gained a wretched reputation. Struggle became a close relation of failure. It became a modifier of sorts, denoting what was not achieved in tangible terms.

A struggling actress. A struggling artist. A struggling sportsman. A struggling entrepreneur. The word hung over their resume silently, constantly reminding them of the goals unattained and casting shadows on their self-worth.

Somewhere in the trajectory of life, as we clawed our way up, ‘struggle’ became a clumsy word and remained so until we notched up emphatic wins. Those who made it, came to be labelled as ‘successful’. Those who didn’t, languished forever in the wasted lands, nursing their deficiencies and lacking.

How misplaced our understanding of the word ‘struggle’ has been! That which should be merited became an index of hopelessness. That which must be applauded came to be derided. That for which one must take pride turned into a cause of embarrassment. Or worse, pity. The relentless effort it entailed was condemned, once and for all.

‘Struggle’, I now realize, is a beautiful word. A great leveller, like sorrow, and like all other abstracts that make us equal sons and daughters of God.

There is glory in struggle, for only those who have crawled will know what going forward means. Only they can say what the sand and gravel feel like. The scratches and scars are their trophies. There is an anonymous power that fuels their determined soul. There is a spirit within them that craves to be alive despite it all. This spirit knows no success or failure. It merely exists, for its own sake. Its apparent battles don’t have closures, for it knows not what gain and loss is.

As for struggle, who in this world doesn’t struggle, after all? Rich or poor, for this or that, for little or more, for success or survival – we are in it in varying measures. No one is spared from life’s free-for-all. Who then is great, who small?

There are no definite successes nor failures in life. All there is, is this trek through the peaks and valleys. The climbs and descents. This relentless struggle to go on. To be alive. All else is fiction. Fallacies of a damned mind. Ask yourself.

(Dedicated with great respect to all strugglers in the world; those thrashing about on different levels, for different needs and purposes.)

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