The wrongs of being right

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We are surrounded by imperfection. Sages rubber-stamp the world as an ocean of faults, where hypocrisy hits an all-time high. In this climate, you don’t have to look far to catch someone doing something amiss, though they’re often completely oblivious to it! I guess it’s difficult to see the picture when you are inside the frame. Thus, for someone who has a little bit of knowledge and is somewhat observant, life is replete with a plethora of opportunities to correct other people. And, truth be told, we do like to be right. The urge to rightfully correct someone, however, must be exercised with caution.

Will they digest it? Even if you are right, and even if your feedback is beneficial, deeply consider whether the person will actually be able to take it. When we know they can’t digest it, yet our overwhelming urge drives us to force-feed them, we actually do a disservice. It’s another type of violence because our inability to communicate appropriately cements them further in their illusion. People raise their defenses and become stubbornly unwilling to change. Remember that correcting someone is a service – its ultimate aim is to assist and encourage that person to grow.

Will you digest it?
The process of correction can awaken our own pride and ego. As soon as we offer some words of advice, even if we are right, we automatically place ourselves in a superior position. We assume the position of a teacher. This sense of superiority can easily create an illusion and pride which diverts our attention from the internal upgrades that we require.

Remember that correcting someone is a service – it should facilitate the evolution of our own humility and progressive spiritual consciousness.

There you have the wrongs of being right – because we neither helped the individual, nor did we help ourselves. Life is not about being right, it’s about doing right. It’s not simply an objective call, but an internal mood. They look similar, but are oceans apart. Too many times, we fall into the trap of being right, but doing wrong. It can break people, it can break us and it can break relationships. When issues need addressing, we could consider the array of alternative ways to ‘get the message across’. Question is, do we have the patience, sensitivity and poise to employ them?

Sutapa has studied ancient Sanskrit texts in depth for the past 15 years, particularly the Bhagavad-gita, and has a passion to share the insights and worldviews these texts offer. Himself from London suburbs, Sutapa was always attracted to the idea of ’simple living, high thinking’. In 2002, after graduating from UCL with a BSc in Information Management, he adopted full-time monastic life to further his knowledge, deepen his spirituality, and share these timeless principles with the wider society.

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