On my visit to my sister’s place, I was chatting with my nephew when my sister entered the room. Looking at my nephew sitting in a bad posture, she told him to sit straight. He obeyed. After a while he again sank in the bad posture. Noticing this my sister taunted him again. He got wild, rose and left the room.
I knew that my nephew was a very good boy and he respected his mother. Then why did he behave in this manner? When I checked with him, I could notice frustration in his tone. While he was ashamed of his behaviour, he also told me that his mother taunting him all the time was annoying.
I was wondering what was going wrong. My sister wanted to teach him, and he was also respectfully obeying. Then at what point the things changed? I took up that as a point for discussion in our next meeting.
“When you force something towards and end, you produce the contrary” This is one of the twelve principles of Valid Actions.
Does it mean that in my sister’s case, she was pushing my nephew towards an end and instead of teaching him, she was ending up in building rebellion?
“Things, people and situations around us, each has its own limits. If we blow a balloon it becomes bigger, looks good, but when we keep on blowing, it grows up to a point and then it bursts.”
I was baffled. Afterall what is the limit? There is bound to be resistance even if we try to do even a smallest thing so should we give up? Does it mean my sister should not try to teach my nephew at all? This is too hard to digest.
“We must put efforts in the desired direction. We must stretch, going beyond what we thought was the obvious limit. Often, we underestimate the capabilities and therefore the limits. In fact, when we stretch, new capabilities come out. Yet there is a difference between stretching, putting efforts and forcing beyond limits. One needs to know where to put a stop.”
Now the idea is sinking in. I realise that often I worked long hours and have to manage with little sleep. I can manage like this for some time, but if it goes for too long it results in break-down. A friend had started dieting and virtually given up eating. She lost weight quickly but also fell sick.
I realised that this applies in other field of life as well. To increase production, a friend kept operating the machine at a faster speed. For some time, the production went up but then the machine broke down. The soil has capacity to produce certain amount of grains. A friend used more and more fertilizers to increase the crop but after some time the soil itself turned infertile.
“There is another dimension of limit, that is in terms of required process and minimum time.”
To cook fast, we may raise the flame and the dish may get ready but not with the right taste. Any relation building takes time and if we try to do it overnight, it doesn’t work. Similarly teaching children also take time and one can’t do it at one shot.
“Even in relations, it is also important to understand that if one keeps persisting, the other may tolerate for a while, but later it may backfire.”
It is good to try with our best capacity to explain things to others, by putting out facts and information. But beyond that if we try to convince the other person that our point of view is the only correct option and that he should agree with us, instead he may reject us.
“The Principles of valid actions are laws of behaviour. If you break the principles, you will invariable cause suffering in yourself and in those around you.”
I recollected that how often we break this principle. And whenever we do that, we invariably end up getting disturbed ourselves and often disturbing others too. I could verify that breaking this principle, how my sister and nephew are not only disturbed but their relation is also strained.
Simple and yet a profound learning on my journey to becoming better human being.