Suppose your friend has come to your place to spend the weekend .While she is at your place she is curious to explore your room or interested in examining your interesting stuff. While doing so an expensive brightly coloured beautiful flower vase fell from her hands which your parents had bought from Japan , what would you do…
Or rather I will change it suppose you have bought an expensive phone which is very endearing to you from Dubai and while playing your son accidentally drops it from his hands , what would you do…..
So let us see what can be done in that situation . We have two choices.
- React : We immediately react by getting angry or shouting at our friend or our son. But do you think it is the solution . From my point of view “No” . It may worsen the situation and most probably your relationship too.
- Response: I can understand you are feeling angry but wait for a moment , take a breath consider the situation. Your first immediate reaction should be, is he or she hurt or scared? Second we will realize that what he has been broken , broken. You don’t have choice .Now it’ s of no importance to shout or get angry on it. Let it go. Thirdly, you both together gather the pieces and clean up the place which will further emphasise that the thing which has been broken is of less importance than the bond between you and the opposite person. So there is no point dwelling upon anger . Fourth calmly explain your child the whole situation and ask him to be more careful next time.
Whenever certain small or even big events, incidents , situations or accidents occur we always observe that we react instead of responding. Here I am including me too. Humans are natural inhabitants of reactions than responses. Though both the words are same but there is huge difference in their implication.
Now let us clear it with a very common story…
Once in a restaurant a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on a lady. She started screaming out of fear. With her panic stricken face and trembling voice , she started jumping with both her hands desperately in order to get rid of it.
The lady finally become successful to push the cockroach which landed the another lady . Now it’s the turn for the another lady to create the same drama. After two three instances of identical acts the cockroach landed on the hand of waiter passing by who kept himself calm and composed. He kept observing the behaviour of the cockroach. After a short pause of calmness , he found himself confident enough to catch hold of that cockroach and threw it out of the restaurant.
Now here arises one more question , was the cockroach responsible for the dramatic situation in the restaurant. Is Yes , then why the waiter didn’t create that dramatic situation . The problem was same but the difference is of reaction and response.
More than problem our reaction to the situation worsens the situation.
Reaction is basically an action or an outburst of emotional or physical response to a situation which needs a stimulus to cause it . It may be heat , cold, weather condition ,someone’s bad behavior , traffic jam or some illness. Now a days we can find it on whatsapp statuses also. A reaction is quick without much thought , tense or aggressive. It is generally an involuntary action.
Response is considered as a reply which is a thought out , calm and non threatening. It displays our self control and better understanding of the situation. Remaining calm at the testing times is the sign of maturity than inferiority .
Much of our life is spent in reactions to others and to events around us. The truth is that , we often react without thinking. But it is not the most rational and correct way to act. Responding on the other hand is the most correct way of handling the situation .
There will always be external events that bother us, but if we learn to respond and not react , we can make things better and not worse.
I like this famous Zen saying :
“ Do you have the patience to wait , till your mud settles and water clear off.”
INVOLVE TO EVOLVE