When someone speaks harshly or acts cruelly toward us, how we respond depends primarily on their disposition.
Should we join the protests? Should we speak out against a government that oppresses black men and women and attacks those wishing to publicly object to such racism? As devotees, should we protest at all? Is meddling in politics the business of Vaishnavas? Yet if we decline, are we not part of the apathy that perpetuates such injustice?
It happens and will continue to happen - someone says something to us, or about us, and we feel the emotions rise. We get ‘bent out of shape’, can’t stop the replay in our mind, and practice all kinds of imaginary ways to respond to it.
The notion of having power over others may provide a temporary gratification, but it starts to unravel pretty soon.
Too much obsession with oneself and with the material world makes people mad. It is not an allegorical statement but it’s a hard core fact. People actually become mad.
The Mahabharata says that, while ordinary arrows cut us once, the arrow of our words ‘burn the heart day and night.’ This is poignantly true when the heated exchange is between near and dear ones, as is so often the case.
Tom Hanks' famous line in Forrest Gump is quite accurate. “Life is like a box of chocolates” he said, “you never know what you’re gonna get!”