Children, human lives are full of problems. While the precise problems will be different, we can divide most of them into three groups. First, there are problems due to forces of nature. For example, earthquakes, typhoons, sudden onset of heavy rains, etc. Second, there are problems that come from our immediate environment. For example, contagious diseases, problems with neighbours, mosquito bites, noise and air pollution, etc. Finally, there are the problems that arise from within ourselves—problems caused by the deficiencies in our attitudes and behaviour due to jealousy, ego, hatred and preconceived notions.
The first two types of problems are not completely in our control. We can control problems from natural only to a certain extent. When real disasters take place, however, all we can do is to try to somehow save ourselves. Most of the problems in the second group can be solved by us. If the neighbours are creating too much noise, we can discuss the matter and resolve the problem. Otherwise we can call the police. We can also use insecticides to get rid of mosquitos. If traffic becomes intolerable, we can even move to another neighbourhood. Problems of the third type, however, are totally controllable and solvable because, if we put in effort, we can correct deficiencies in our character and behaviour.
No matter how peaceful the environment we live in maybe, if our mind is not in our control, we will never experience peace and contentment. But if the mind is in our control, we can face any outside problem peacefully.
Whatever be the problem, first we have to figure out its root cause. When we are overcome with sorrow, often we fail to see the root cause. Then we begin blaming the circumstances, other people or even God. We forget that the cause of the problem lies within us.
Once we find the real cause of our problem, finding solutions is easy. For example, say a person is very sad because he failed to get a promotion. This problem can be completely solved if he welcomes both victory and defeat with equanimity and puts in more effort at work with increased enthusiasm. Ninety per cent of problems are due to deficiencies in our attitude or behaviour. As we solve these deficiencies, our life will become evermore peaceful and happy.
Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi