Let None Stand Before Me by tasteful_tn on Flickr

“There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.”

The quote above is taken from Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai, a collection of short texts that 18th century samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo dictated to a younger samurai over the course of seven years. In it, he provides a great deal of advice and guidance for novice samurai, not only in how to best perform their duties, but also how to think about life.

We get a glimpse into the Way of the Warrior (bushido), a mindset that dictates how a samurai should behave, how they should live and, when the time comes, how they should die. The sense of honor and loyalty embodied by the ancient samurai is the stuff of legend, something that we see depicted in movies and television all the time. You learn how to be effective in what you do and how to achieve a sense of inner calm.

Indeed, there is a great lesson in the heart of a rainstorm. When most of us find ourselves caught in the middle of sudden downpour, we panic. We frantically run for cover or we frantically go in search of an umbrella or poncho. You think that by running as quickly as you can, you are giving yourself the best chance of not getting wet, but what happens? You get soaked to the bone anyway. And at the end of the day, it’s just water.

The samurai mindset is much clearer, much calmer. It reminds us that there is much to learn from hardship. If you accept that you will inevitably get wet if you get caught in the middle of a massive rainstorm, you will find peace and you will be no worse for wear. Rather than panicking, you realize that you should really only focus on what you can control and simply adapt for the things that you cannot control. You’ll understand the world for what it is.

You will no longer fear the rain; you will embrace it.