Don’t do Something Permanently Stupid Just Because You are Temporarily Upset
Gracy Wilson, my journalist friend in UK, is a very hot tempered person. She has issues with the editor, management and most of the people she meets. She reacts to each and everything in life. She just can’t tolerate any injustice and unethical activities.
We were connected through LinkedIn. She went through my website. We had a long chat about the life and its beauty. She asked me: “You are telling not to react, but to respond. Each and every situation in life is different. How to respond? Where to react? And how will we know whether it is a reaction or respond? It is easy for you to write or preach. But you can’t walk the talk…”
“Hmm…” I keyed in.
“I am a responsible person” she said.
“Responsibility = ability to respond” I said.
She didn’t say anything for a moment. Then she said: “I know my short-coming. I know I react instantly and not respond properly. I really don’t understand the difference…”
“Oh, what’s there to understand? Reaction is automatic and usually immediate – it comes from the emotions; it lacks control. A response includes an action, but can be and usually is considered, and not necessarily immediate. When you respond, that means you are in control. When you react, that means that you have surrendered control to someone else…And most of the times, a sudden reaction creates permanent damage in human relationships or in life. Sometimes it ruins our/others entire life…” I said.
“When a doctor tells you are reacting to the medicine that’s bad; when he tells you are responding to the medicine that’s good. Reaction comes out of your past conditioning; it is mechanical. Response comes out of your presence, awareness, consciousness; it is non-mechanical.”
(Excerpt from my book “MIND YOUR MIND: Turn Frustration into Fascination”
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