We are often dealing with conflicting situations in life. Every now and then we have to make choices, choices that affect our present and shape our future. No doubt, actions and choices of our parents, family members and others around us have an impact on our lives, too. The truth, however, remains that our life is mostly the outcome of our thoughts and actions and not others. And, choices are not always black-or-white; the path is not always clear.
The question is how should be behave when we are being wrong or mistreated? Should we not give it back to the other person when we know for sure that they are being unreasonable? Or should we follow M K Gandhi’s turn-the-other-cheek formula?
Here’s a short poem called the PARADOXICAL COMMANDMENTS by Kent M Keith, which is sometimes attributed to Mother Teresa, for this was hung on a wall in a children’s home where she served for the most part of her life.
People are often unreasonable, illogical, self-centered,
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse of selfish, ulterior motives,
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true friends,
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you,
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight,
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous,
Be happy anyway.
The good you do toady, people will often forget tomorrow,
Do good anyway.
Give the world your best anyway.
You see, it is not between you and them, its between YOU and GOD. It was never between you and them anyway.
I don’t see how having grudges against anyone or holding anger regarding anything does any good to anybody.
Similarly, in the Final Analysis (Other name for the poem mentioned above), nature will say, ” I gave you the body and mind and what you did with it was your responsibility.” At that moment, you can’t say, ” I wronged because I was wronged.” For, it’ll say, ” What they did is their business, I”ll talk to them separately. I’m only concerned with you account.” Figuratively speaking, of course. We can’t take other people’s wrongdoing as any justification for our own misconduct. Each one of us is accountable for the transactions in our karmic account.
Conduct yourself in a manner that befits you. At all times, under all circumstances, with everyone. Now, go ahead and reflect on what kind of behavior suits someone of your stature. Done? Live it.
This is the only thing you ever need to know. The only mantra.