GROWING A NEW YOU SERIES
# 1: DO ACT, AT TIMES REACT, BUT NEVER OVERACT
By Neel Anil Panicker
The other day I was reading a few blog entries from my dear friend Annette when I chanced upon this excellent prompt that she had put up by way of a new series Growing A New You.
The one liner simply stated: Think about how we can react in a healthy manner.
Well, that set me thinking and and I decided to bite the bait.
And so, voila! here is my very own two penny worth of thoughts on this matter.
React, a consequence of some act. Reaction__a natural corollary to some action. And if one were to go by what great Sir Issac Newton said by way of his Third Law of Physics_ every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
Well, it has taken me almost the greater part of my stay on this planet to truly fathom the truism behind this scientific wisdom laid out for the benefit of mankind so many eon years ago.
Way back when I still had a lot of hair and retained an ideal body mass index and had that extra swagger in my walk and a pronounced twang in my voice, I used to live under the fallacy that the world and all its affairs could be solved with the help of my razor sharp wit and wisdom.
So, there I was walking, nee gatecrashing into every single semblance of a dispute, discord or any one of the other deadly Ds including the very innocuous dialogue.
Speaking of dialogues, even a harmless tête-à-tête with a dear friend would spiral over into a heated discussion that reach boiling point__ all due to the irascible manner of my response.
I suffered from what I now clearly see as a highly obnoxious, self defeating, and socially harmful particularity. And the end would always be the same___ a permanent scar on what otherwise could have turned out into very beautiful life affirming relationships.
But all that is, now thankfully, in the past, and hopefully permanently consigned to the fire, a fitting bonfire of all my vanities.
Today I am a changed man. Changed in the sense that though I do react to every act as any sane person is apt to do, the elemental difference is that unlike in the past my now I am in control of my reactions.
Today, faced with a crisis or situation or even an act, I know for sure, with crystal clear clarity, whether such a situation even calls for a reaction from my end or nor; and if it does so, how or to what measure or extent should my particular reaction towards this end be.
Take for example the other day, when I happened to watch a television debate on the highly vexed issue of whether cow slaughter be banned in the country.
Barely a minute into the debate and daggers had been drawn with both the pro and anti ban parties__ an nauseatingly uncouth, roaringly bombastic and rumbunctious bunch of rabblerousers___, literally tearing into shreds the arguments of the other side, without even displaying the basic decency to hear out the opinions of one another.
Massively dejected and terribly disgusted, I switched channels, this time to submerge myself in the soothing environs of the scenic Coorg valley, where all I could see was Nature at its glorious best.
The unspoilt wide, undulating expanse of meandering tea gardens nestled high up in the hills brought me closer to the lap of divinity.
Here I was, calm, and at peace with myself, a million miles away from the cacophony and the short sightedness of mindless and meaningless grumbling, fumbling, trembling and tumbling that is the bane of people who merrily rush in where even angels fear to tread, and who are living embodiments of what is the result when one violates one of the cardinal principles of life__look before you leap.
Sans any of the discordant noises and jarring tones and mindless mind battles self serving men and women indulge in from the safe, comfy, air conditioned confines of television studios that seem to hold sole proprietorships in the conduct of all such blood splitting macabre spectator sports whose sole purposes are divide man against man, I found that in choosing to react the way I do now__that is with a sense of calmness and equanimity and in a manner which is not hurtful or derogatory, I have turned my back on all negativity, ill will, enmity and narrow mindedness, and in turn, allowed for the entry of positivity, grace, dignity, love and amity into my life.
that set me thinking and two penny worth of thoughts.
As I end I am reminded of a very uplifting quote from that great statesman and the 30th President of the United States Calvin Coolidge who besides other things was also known as Silent Cal as recognition of his ability to speak less and that too only to the point.
Here it is:
Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.