I was venturing in the “non-judgemental attitude towards everyone” arena when it brought me to the question, should you be good or bad towards bad behavior and people? Reciprocating is very easy since we just react to the other person’s emotions. If the other person is good to us, we reciprocate with goodness, easy right? But if the other person treats us badly, then how are you supposed to react? After all, not only smiling/laughing is contagious but anger, resentment, worry, sorrow, etc; the so-called negatively bracketed emotions are also contagious. When the other person is shouting at us, we most often than not raise our voices at them to match theirs. If shouting back is reacting or automatic response, then what should be the mindful or the so-called right/good conscious response? Gandhiji said If someone slaps you then give him the other cheek to slap. I think his thinking behind such behavior is that the agitated person gets confused at your unwelcome response and that moment’s lapse might make him aware of the present moment and his anger might get dissipated. But if the person’s anger doesn’t dissipate with a second slap, should you just get beaten up?
Since I was a bad student who didn’t enjoy reading, I had ample amount of time during which these kinds of questions always bugged me from a very early age. My mind would super analyze things and I could find no one who could answer these duality questions for me, as everyone was busy getting themselves conditioned by reading a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against gaining knowledge by reading. Gaining knowledge through books is a must and non-negotiable. But introspection helps to judge whether the said knowledge fits with my nature or psyche. After all, we are born with likes and dislikes. As I said, today I also read to understand perspectives and compare how others think and how I think.
Being myself is my mantra- not being good or bad. If I am mindful and attentive and in a particular situation if I feel I have to put forth my point rather than just backing out and hiding under the sheets of goodness, I would take the other side. After all, we can’t always keep saying YES even when we want to say NO. Our conditioned selves just don’t want to put in the effort and think which side to take every time. After all, going by the books is so damn easy. This is where our conditioned selves make our life easier by putting it on habitual or auto mode. Nothing is inherently good or bad. We have to keep finding a suitable balance between both sides. Different times and different people call for customized solutions and behavior rather than generic/standard ones. After all, we are evolving and not stagnant as a human race.
During my recovering phase, I picked up one new subject and which changed my entire outlook towards life. That’s Acupuncture and its basic YIN-YANG Principle. Today, I put my every dilemma in this framework and it helps me understand and have a new perspective. Below is a short definition of the Yin-Yang principle:
“The principle of Yin and Yang is that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites, for example, female-male, dark-light, and old-young. The pairs of equal opposites attract and complement each other.”
You will ask me where am I heading with all this, then I would say I am heading towards the heart. The appropriate behavior is always the one that sits with your emotions and not with your reasoning. Because if we neglect our emotions and let our conditioned and rational mind take up this job, we will be doing great injustice to ourselves. After all, our well-being should be our foremost criterion. Even in the Emergency Rescue Operations, they train us to settle ourselves and our emotions first before helping others. Because only then we will be able to rationally apply all the knowledge that we have gained so far to help others efficiently without emotions blocking our minds and senses.
On a lighter note, what is bad in being a bad person? It just means you will be suffering loneliness because you are considered bad company but loneliness and suffering are what brings us closer to God. Even Ravana won Param Shiva. It’s a win-win for either side. ( I know it tastes Salty).