Endings or turning points?

Every ending brings with it the otherwise untapped and invaluable potential for newer, and more prosperous beginnings

Ali Hassan Bangwar June 09, 2024
The writer is a freelancer and a mentor hailing from Kandhkot, Sindh. He can be reached at alihassanb.34@gmail.com


The intrinsic curiosity, quest for novelty, and boredom of familiarity drive much of human endeavour, from philosophical discourse to enduring innovation and holistic social evolution. The distaste for and dissatisfaction with the known and the allure of the unknown push humans to break free from monotony, venturing into uncharted trajectories. However, embarking on new journeys, employment, and experiences demands building upon either an intentional foundation laid beforehand, utilising the lessons learned from earlier undertakings, or building anew on the ruins of earlier endings. This brings us to the nature of endings and the potential prospects they hold for newer beginnings.

The concept of endings as new beginnings is a timeless wisdom that has been echoed by philosophers, poets, and spiritual leaders across cultures. It reminds us that life is a continuous cycle of growth, transformation, and renewal. When we experience an ending, it’s natural to feel a sense of loss, grief, or uncertainty. We may struggle to let go of what’s familiar and comfortable, even if it’s no longer serving us. But as we navigate the transition, we begin to realise that every ending creates space for something new to emerge.

The question arises: do all people see the endings through an optimistic lens? That is, are all endings welcomed as turning points and equated with a new beginning? The answer, for most, is that endings often bring more pain than hope. Understandably so, losing the fruits of long-held efforts and the comfort of the familiar is not painless. However, the main question is: can we sustainably hold on to what we own? While clinging to the past might seem appealing, the reality is: no. Sustainable progress requires us to let go of what we perceive as permanent, even if it’s difficult. This cultivated ability to embrace endings as opportunities for growth is what allows us to remain relevant.

Though we may have little control over preventing endings, we hold a considerable stake in how we interpret them — as losses cured, lessons learned, or opportunities gained. In fact, many beginnings might feel like endings at first. Why do endings bother and frustrate us? It’s because they represent a departure from the familiar and a leap into the unknown. This uncertainty about what comes next can be frustrating. However, the unknown holds immense potential, waiting to be explored. Dwelling on the past won’t bring back what’s lost. Instead, viewing endings as turning points for new beginnings opens us up to new experiences and opportunities.

Endings are inevitable for individual and collective space, diversity of experiences, intellectual evolution, emotional stability, and sustainable growth. For instance, the end of a relationship, career track, or any other undertaking might bring pain, even after dedicated effort and high hopes. However, instead of taking endings as dead ends, we can view them as springboards to even greater achievements.

Every ending, regardless of circumstance, brings with it the otherwise untapped and invaluable potential for newer, richer, and more prosperous beginnings. However, transforming endings into stepping stones for greater beginnings demands transforming the sting of endings into fuel for passionate pursuits of newer and richer beginnings.

The beauty of endings as new beginnings lies in their potential for transformation. Just as a caterpillar undergoes a radical transformation, dissolving into a seemingly formless state before emerging as a magnificent butterfly, endings in our lives hold the potential for incredible beginnings. Marked by an ending, new beginning can be a fresh start, a clean slate, or a second chance. It can be an opportunity to rediscover ourselves, our passions, and our purpose. It can be a chance to learn from our experiences, heal from our wounds, and evolve into a better version of ourselves.

Beginnings require endings. Without inevitable endings to our individual and social endeavours, humanity would remain stagnant. It’s the cycle of endings and beginnings that has fueled the rich, diverse, and fulfilling experiences humans have undergone and enjoyed for millennia.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2024.

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