Non-violence has many aspects. It involves non-injury in thought, word and deed. We are quite careless when it comes to non-violence in words. It is said that the tongue is sharper than the sword. A wound caused by the sword may heal, but the wound of someone’s words, breaking our heart, might not.
How many times, in a day, do we say things that hurts others ? When others make a mistake, we imply that they are stupid or foolish. When others reply incorrectly, we make them feel embarrassed or inferior. Most of our harsh words result fro our trying to boost our own pride and make ourselves look superior. We must weigh our words carefully.
Often, we use sarcasm to try to be funny. We think we are witty, but we do so at the expense of someone else’s feelings. Some people think that they can get the best out of others by being harsh and critical. Yet, quite the opposite is true. We can be more persuasive, using the power of gentleness. People get discouraged and withdrawn when they are spoken to harshly.
It is quite acceptable to have differences of opinion, but it should never end in a fight. In a disagreement, two people harbour different opinion, but each is entitled to his own views. If we differ with each other calmly, that is acceptable We should try to maintain equanimity, and we will find our issues resolved.
Every day we meet people who are filled with anger and criticism, and they say harsh things. We should ask whether what they say is true, and, if so, we should take I as a lesson to improve ourselves. If their words have no truth in them, we should not be dragged down to their level. We should try and remain calm, and this calmness can be attained with regular meditation. When people see how calm we are, they may want to learn the secrets of humility we learnt. We add calmness to their hostile environment.
————- Sant Rajinder Singh.