Wednesday, December 21, 2016


The old advice goes: “When you are angry, count ten…. When you are very angry, count hundred.

Obviously, that little space of time – perhaps a few seconds – can make all the difference between war and peace. Just hold back… Just hang on… Just take a long, deep breath before you say or do or react in the fit of your anger. I speak from my own experience… I am a human, a mortal… I err, I lose my temper quite often… and, whenever I have reacted in anger, it has neither helped me nor the cause for which I had exploded. It has only complicated things for me… no matter how much ever I have tried to justify my action…

The reality is: giving in to anger and doing things impulsively is lack of self-control, lack of maturity. Period. On a scale of ten, I may score six or seven as far as this test goes. Not bad, I suppose… I console myself.

The same old advice goes to all of us who complain about things which are ‘wrong’ in our lives. “When you have a complaint, count ten… When you have a major complaint, count hundred.”

I hear some of you shouting, “It is a stupid advice.”

Again, I, too, am a human, a mortal. So, I, too, err… I, too, complain about things which are not okay in my life… But, mercifully, I am not a habitual or a chronic complainant… Yes, I do count ten, and many a time hundred – even thousand – before I complain about things which have come to me as a bad deal/ raw deal in my life. That breathing space before I complain and crib does a lot good to me. The very first benefit I get from it is: I get the inherent feeling that I am in control… that I have not allowed someone else to rule my peace of mind. The next benefit is: it helps me to empathize with the other person – put myself in his shoes, be compassionate… and, thereby, facilitate solution. Yes, I would rather become a part of the solution than a part of the problem. Finally, holding back my complaint helps me view my problems with a spiritual perspective… with an attitude of gratitude. Oh that age old saying: “I complained I had no shoes till I saw a man with no feet.”

Yes, we have problems… Yes, we need solutions… Yes, we need the authorities to be accountable… Yes, we can’t take raw deal in life. Agreed. No argument on that…

Raw deal? Why don’t we complain to God when he sends us earthquakes and tsunamis… Why don’t we complain to Him when we have three times food in our plates and someone out there has to eat dog’s food… My brother, Vivek, had shared this video today:

Hope, we all take a long, deep breath before we lodge our next complaint… and wonder as to how long we may have to ‘suffer’ in life!

Pic.: Anil Bedi

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