As a young student I used to travel a lot for debating. Once I was travelling from Bangalore to Bhopal. There was an elderly monk who was sitting in front seat. I remember trying to break some conversation but he didn’t entertain me much. Most of the times he would go into deep meditation. I realised he needed silence so I kept reading and minded my own business.
At some station, a man with two kids joined our coupe. The kids were very rowdy. I remember hating them as they were nuisance, jumping everywhere, screaming and annoying beyond anyone’s tolerance. They were very distracting to the monk. After sometime they started pulling the monk’s beard, They also took some of his fruits. For next 5-6 hours they didn’t let the monk meditate. “Why isn’t this monk reacting?“ I kept thinking. Finally, I lost my cool and shouted at kids, only when their father went to the restroom asking me to keep an eye on the kids.
Later, when the monk’s station came and he was alighting, I asked him why did he tolerate such rowdy kids who did not let him mediate?
“Not every situation needs a reaction. Sometimes you have to let things happen. I can react when I know why those kids are the way they are. I don’t know what’s their need. What’s going on in their minds. Maybe they were seeking my attention. May be they have negative energy. Since I was not sure what was their problem, it was not right for me not react.”
‘But for so long you controlled your reaction, I am really impressed with your tolerance” I said.
“I didn’t tolerate anything. I helped them vent all their negativity. And that was my reaction.” He smiled and handed me a banana and left.
As the train began to move and I settled in the seat, one kid snatched my walkman which slipped from his hand and fell. I lost my cool and yelled at him. This is when his father came close to me and started apologising.
“Sir, I am really sorry. They were never like this. It’s just last few weeks…. since their mother…. my wife passed away few weeks ago… they have been very rowdy. Maybe, they don’t know how to express their grief… please forgive them’.
I didn’t know how to react. It was a paradigm shift. And then, the monk’s words started making sense… “Not every situation needs reaction… sometime you have to let it go….”
Often, in serious situation where someone falsely blames me or cheats me or backstabs me, I choose not to react. For you never know if the person is going through some depression or psychological problem. Since I don’t know the real motive of the person who is lying or cheating on me, I let it go. And each time it has helped me.
Sometimes people try to damage you because some kind of perversion is seeking an outlet. By reacting we make that perversion stronger. By letting it go, we not just help the person vent out negativity, we also allow for the truth to reveal itself.
Be patient. Be #IAmBuddha