There is a time to be emotional and a time to be sensible, and the man who understands this is the one who will be successful, Suki Sivam said in a lecture.

Our affection for members of our family and friends is bound to evoke in us an emotional response to anything that involves them. Suppose there has been a death in the family, tears flow and one grieves.

But life for the living has to go on. Even amid sorrow, we must begin to think of what we need to do next. We have to be practical. We cannot let our emotions cloud our reasoning.

Even when the heart grieves, the mind must make plans for the future of those who have been affected by the calamity. When her husband is critically ill, a wife, who had been hitherto unemployed, is on the verge of being recruited for a post. Unfortunately, on the day of her interview her husband dies. What should she do? Most people would never dream of advising her to go ahead and attend the interview. In fact, if she had the courage and the sense to do so, she would be perhaps criticised for her heartlessness.

But a wise woman will think of the future. She has to provide for her own future and that of her children. That is not going to be done if she skips the interview.

Grieving for a dear one is not time-bound. One can grieve all one’s life, but even while doing so, one must do one’s duty. But the world, while applauding sensibility, fails to stand by the practical person who allows sense to rule his or her life. However, we cannot live to please the world.

All the relatives and so called well-wishers who are present at the funeral are not going to be with us in the years to come, to help us tackle the practical problems we will have to face.

So we must let sense guide us. Sensibility alone will take us nowhere. We may have to be stone-hearted in times of crisis, but when it is time to help others we must keep the heart as soft as a rose petal. He who knows how to do this will be a happy man indeed.

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