The Lining of Silver: April 15, 2011


Accidents happen. Failure overcomes us. Tragedy churns our life into shreds of unnoticeable scrap. Still, at the end of the day, there’s always a Silver Lining. It’s called hope. Hope that shows us the light to something different. It may or not be bigger and better than what one possesses. But, the hope, gives you a light – a path to follow on your next journey.

Recently at work, we sold a multi-million dollar project to a multi-billion dollar international customer – the product not having been tested and approved fully. A large team of engineers and planners worked relentlessly to make the technology work. We had plans B, C, D through Z ready to launch, if the current action item lists didn’t work. The risk of failure was not acceptable.

After more than six months of gut wrenching decision-making, finally the project worked. While every day of the past six months, the team felt as if we were in a cesspool of sticky mud – unable to rescue ourselves, eventually things improved – and the project delivered on it’s expectations. All along the journey, there was a team of people, who didn’t believe that this project could be accomplished. Every excuse in the world was in front of us, why things would not work. The true heroes were a handful of people who persisted that the changes would work and we would overcome the obstacles.

It’s during these times, you see the character of your team and how they react to the level of uncertainty.

Similarly, during a recent personal calamity, a group of my friends and family kept advising me to abandon ship and move forward from my predicament. Then there were those, who advised me to hold steady and move forward within my current trajectory.

The only thing that keeps one going, in a difficult circumstance, is that silver lining – that hope, that things will get better – and the world will move forward. Maybe the topography of the world, as we know it, has changed, but still reason to look forward to a tomorrow – a better tomorrow.

This has to be the indomitable human spirit.

If you remember the Gulf Oil Spill about a year ago – or the recent nuclear disaster in Japan, you see examples of human perseverance to look forward and search for a silver lining that life has to move forward.

In our personal life-journeys, hope is all we have.

It would be very difficult to get out of bed every day, if we only pondered the disease, war or accidents that happen around us.

Instead, if we look at the smiles of our five-year olds when they splash around the pool – or beautiful, loving eyes of our fifteen year olds – and see the opportunities that God gives us every day –one must be grateful – one has to reach for that silver lining that makes life worth living.