Scold or Pardon?

QUESTION
Many times in life, we face different situations. Sometimes we may scold at people, which actually solves many future problems. Sometimes we feel like forgiving them. Sometimes one method works & sometimes it fails. What is an ideal approach – should we control ourselves in such situations or argue?

REPLY
Genuine concern It is always convenient to go to extremes – blast at everyone we meet or forgive everyone. Both approaches are impractical. We have to genuinely ask this question – what is beneficial for this person to grow at this moment? A student sometimes has to be taught by chastisement and sometimes by forgiveness. A good teacher knows when to use what.

Use proper tools for proper purposes A carpenter has many tools in his tool box. A screw driver can’t do what a hammer can do & vice versa. For a carpenter, different tools are necessary to achieve different purposes. All with one aim – to do some good carpentry. A carpenter neither hates any specific tool nor favors any one tool; he selects and uses a tool as the situation demands. Similarly, a devotee uses different emotions at different times to help others grow. Sometimes he blasts (argues) & sometimes he forgives (keeps quiet). For him, different emotions are his tools to contribute to others’ lives. Whereas anger can help one person understand his mistake, it can crush another sensitive person. Whereas forgiveness can enliven one person’s heart, it can make someone else take you for granted.

Dynamic definition of true help What response to give in a particular situation is governed by (a.) sincere desire to uplift others & (b.) purity of one’s own heart. It cannot be governed by a fixed rule.

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