Sunayna wanted to propose a point for discussion in our weekly meeting today. She wanted to marry Rajan and yesterday when she told about it to her parents, her father got extremely angry. She didn’t know how to handle the situation.
It was common for us to bring our personal situations in the meeting. No one will form opinion about us, nor we have to worry about our personal matter becoming subject of gossip. The interest was in the learning out of the situation and not in details of the personal life.
“Do not oppose a great force, retreat until it weakens, then advance with resolution.” “This is one of the 12 principles of valid actions.”
I remembered having discussed 2-3 principles in our earlier meetings. These principles are like laws of behaviour. Breaking the principle will result in suffering within us and around us.
We started deliberating. Whenever we want to do something, there are hindrances on the way. If the hindrance is in the form of a great force, and if we try to oppose it, the chances are that we will be swept away. This means it is important to judge the magnitude of the hindrance.
“Small hindrances are called inconvenience”
I am on a trip. The sun is beating down hard, and the terrain is rough. These are inconveniences, but they do not matter much. They create some irritations but overcoming them would be easy.
“On the other hand, there are hindrances that would demand special efforts from us. These can also be called difficulties. Then we stretch ourselves to handle such hindrances, overcome them and in the process our abilities grow.”
On my trip, there is a steep climb. Now walking is strenuous and exerting. It is a difficulty. I continue and now I reach higher ground. In the school, I found maths tough, had to work hard and then I could solve complex maths problems. In this process of overcoming difficulties my abilities grew. Thus, such hindrances, such difficulties, in fact are good for us and welcome. They are useful for our growth.
“But there could be hindrance in the form of a great force. Nothing will be achieved by opposing great force. Instead it could cause grave damage.”
On my trip when I am moving, a train is passing in front of me. I must wait for the train to pass. Else I will die. The father’s anger was a great force and it would be wise for Sunayna to wait instead of fighting back. But does it mean she has to surrender and accept whatever father insists else he will get angry again?
“What is required is not giving up but to wait for the right time.”
Force is a dynamic thing. We need to wait for some time in which either the opposite force has reduced, or we have mustered up enough energy in our favour to overcome it.
“Then advance with resolution.”
So Sunayna, need not give up her proposal. She needs to wait till father’s anger comes down and then firmly put forward her views. As we deliberated, we realised how often such situation arises in everyone’s life.
Rajesh had appeared for a very difficult exam and had failed. The subject’s complexity had overwhelmed him like a great force. He didn’t give up. He studied more thoroughly and having mustered force by mastering the subject he succeeded.
Roshni’s child did not do his homework and when confronted by the her, he was on defensive. It became an issue of honour for him. Now it became clear to her that immediately at that time she should not tell him anything, but later in a more conducive moment, explain to him the importance of doing the homework.
Learning to differentiate between inconvenience, difficulty and great force and an appropriate way of handling difficult situations, I was moving ahead in my journey to become better human being.