Almost daily we come across situations with which we do not agree. It may be a situation at home, at office, at marketplace or anywhere else. For example, your son may not be doing as well as you expect him to do. The subordinate may not be as honest as you expect him to be. The shopkeeper’s behaviour may not be as polite as it should be, so on and so forth. One is generally at a loss to understand what should be the attitude in such situations. We shall briefly discuss this in the present article.
There can be three ways of dealing with such situations. The first is to ‘React’. It means that you immediately express your disagreement in explicit terms, often with anger. This is the worst way of dealing with the situation. In this way, while you lose your own peace of mind, you do no good to the person or situation with whom you don’t agree. By reacting immediately you are likely to lose sight of the positive side of the person. As a result the chances of the other person making any amends become very feeble and the overall situation becomes from bad to worse. The experience is that when you realise your hurried reaction, you end up making more compromise with the situation than what you would have normally made. Also reaction is an indication of your own weakness and indicates lack of conviction in your thinking. A person who believes in and practices virtue has no need to react.
The second way of dealing with a situation with which you don’t agree is to ‘Tolerate’ it. This is superior to the first approach. In tolerating you do not express your disagreement externally but internally you do not accept the situation. Normally this affects you internally. While this may or may not have a positive effect on the situation or person which is troubling you, it definitely has a negative effect on you. To some extent it also indicates the presence of the ego in you because when you tolerate a situation or person, a certain amount of repulsion or hate is implied. It brings you down and there is a good probability of your losing mental peace.
The best way to deal with a situation with which you do not agree is to ‘Accept’ it. This may raise several doubts in your mind. The first is whether it would amount to escapism. This is not true provided you do your duty to improve the situation or the person. Many times you may not be in a position to take any effective step. In that case you can politely give your advice without expecting compliance. It will generally go into the subconscious mind of the person responsible for the situation. This way you improve the chances of changing the person or the situation without losing your mental peace.
Unfortunately, what most of us do is to change ourselves on the lines of wrong persons or situations and then justify our slips. But does it really help anyone? No one, and not you in the least. The ultimate aim of everyone is mental peace and happiness and it cannot be achieved when you ‘React’ or ‘Tolerate’. Only ‘Acceptance’, having done your duty, is the right option.
A wise man is one who can live in peace with things he cannot change.
When we have accepted the worst, we have nothing more to lose. Result : true peace of mind.
Accept what you cannot change.