Aug 21, 2009
I love the saying ‘love makes the world go around’ and I am compelled to believe it for the simple reason that hatred would bring everything to a standstill. In fact, we still have courtesy, respect, patience, tolerance in good measure all around us. It is for these very reasons we put up with an annoying neighbour or an irritating co-passenger in the bus. They are simple acts of love, though not regarded as such.
Still, it is not easy not to hate someone who brushes us on the wrong side, let alone those who intentionally inflict harm on us. But time and again, I have realized that it is for our own good that we should let go of our grouses and get going, for life is too short to be lived in memory of wrongs done to us. Resentments fester with time and harm us in the long run.
Letting go is perhaps difficult but not impossible. Willingness to let go is the first and the most important step. Once we decide to let go, the rest becomes quite easy.
Those of us who are still unwilling to ‘let bygones be bygones’ might consider the following.
- Giving benefit of doubt, which simply means not presuming that someone is deliberately bad. In other words, it means assuming that the person had good intentions and did not harm or plan to harm us knowingly or unknowingly.
For instance before lashing out at the maid for turning up late to work we may have to consider if she is unwell after receiving her drunkard husband’s blows previous night in which case she would not even be able to keep us informed.
- At times when someone actually hurts us, let’s remember a very powerful dictum for being happy, i e. ‘When someone wrongs you, live in such a way so as to contradict that’ and we will definitely end up far happier than if we had tried to get even. The former strengthens us immensely while the latter only saps our energy.
- Sometime back, when I was driving on a new road, I encountered a hump unexpectedly. As a result of sudden braking, we experienced a rude thud which shook all of us sitting inside the car. I began fuming and fretting about everything and everyone – the hump, the police, the civic authorities, the public and so on. Very soon, unawares to me, I hit a huge pothole which caused more discomfort to us, only because, I realized, I had chosen to harp on the hump rather than sit up and drive more carefully. Isn’t that what happens to us in our everyday life? We give too much attention to past failures or blunders, which takes away our concentration from the tasks ahead causing repeat failures and at times, untold misery.
- Most importantly, we always get something better in place of something painful or unpleasant. Spooky though it may sound, destiny or god – call what you may – ensures that we are compensated for the bad times we go through or wrongs done to us for no fault of ours. Of course, provided we are determined to start afresh with a clean slate.
When an elderly friend of mine who used to help me with essays and compositions in school, suddenly refused to help me for no obvious reason, I was distraught as I had committed to deliver a speech on the school annual day. It seemed hard collecting all the facts and thoughts to make the speech, yet I did it. Then there was no stopping me and today, I thank my friend for getting me initiated into writing albeit not very nicely.
In a nutshell, an eye for an eye is bound to make everyone blind. True happiness is in giving up our claim to get even with someone and to move on. The best way to do so is as I read somewhere - trying to get even with those who were good to us. Needless to say, the world will be a much brighter and happier place then.
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