Focus not on the harsh truth, but on the gentle healing
Whenever surgeons operate, they try to minimize the distress caused by the surgery. Physically, they administer pain medicine. And emotionally, they solace the patient by shifting the focus from the pain to the healing that will soon follow.
When we share Krishna’s message with others, that message may go against some notions dear to them. The resulting confrontation can be like a painful surgery for our hearers. Though the surgery may be unavoidable, we need to minimize its associated pain. How? By explaining the truth as non-judgmentally, as objectively, as rationally as possible so that people can see it with the light of their own reason.
If we aren’t sensitive in presenting scripture, if we take our possession of the truth as a license for imposing it on others without considering their background, their sensitivities, their sore spots, then we may well be like surgeons who can’t be bothered to reassure the patient or administer pain medicine before operating.
Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (17.15) cautions that we speak the truth non-agitatingly, pleasingly and beneficially. These guidelines imply that we need to focus our hearers’ attention not on the harsh truth but on the gentle healing. We dwell not on how they are wrong, but on how Krishna’s infinite love awaits them if they can just outgrow their present conceptions.
If we thus help others focus on the gentle healing, the sensitivity and flexibility that we internalize will make the dose of harsh truth less painful whenever we need that dose. Just because we are sharing Krishna’s message doesn’t mean that we have got things fully right. Whenever our conceptions are challenged, the ensuing confrontation will be our turn under the surgeon’s scalpel. When we ease others’ through their healing, Krishna will reciprocate and ease us through our healing too.
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