Know when to give others space and when to give them pace
If someone intrudes into our personal physical space by coming too close to us, we feel uncomfortable. We similarly feel uncomfortable when someone intrudes into our personal psychological space by mandating what we should or shouldn’t do, how we should or shouldn’t feel and so forth. In both cases, we may say, “Give me some space.”
Whenever we guide anyone, we need to be mindful if they are finding us overbearing. We might have the best of intentions, wanting to protect them from bad choices. But if they feel suffocated by our guidance, they may just go away from us and then make those bad choices. Thus, our guidance will fail doubly: not prevent their bad choices and not protect our relationship with them either. That’s why we need to learn when to give people space.
While being thus mindful, we need to avoid the other extreme of never giving others pace, that is, never pushing them to overcome their inertia to do things that are good for them. If not pushed, they may never realize their potential. They can be pushed by an encouraging pat, a raised eyebrow, a motivational talk, a chastisement.
Consider parenting. Some traditional parents may not give their children enough space, dictating all their kids’ actions. In contrast, postmodern parents may not give their children enough pace, leaving their kids unprepared for life.
The Bhagavad-gita (03.26) harmonizes the two imperatives: it urges us to not disturb people’s minds, indicating the need to give them space; but it also urges us to engage them appropriately for their gradual elevation, indicating the need to give them pace. Thus, by carefully observing the effect of our action or inaction on others, we can discern when to give others space and when to give them pace.
Think it over:
- Why is not giving people space a problem?
- Why is not giving people pace a problem?
- How can we know when to give others space or pace?
To know more about this verse, please click on the image
Explanation of article: