Never make irreversible decisions based on reversible emotions
Our emotions can easily mislead us. When we become strongly emotional, we tend to make snap decisions. Such decisions can be detrimental, sometimes devastatingly detrimental. In moments of anger, we may terminate relationships that have taken a lifetime to build. Worse still, in moments of distress, some people may even end their own lives — a scarily, terribly irreversible decision.
However, our emotions are ridiculously reversible. What we feel at one moment, we may feel differently or even oppositely later. When emotions are high, if we make a decision that is irreversible, we may well regret it throughout our lives.
The Bhagavad-gita is spoken to prevent Arjuna from taking such an irreversible decision based on a reversible emotion. He is the foremost archer of his times, about to fight the most important war of his life. This war was essential for establishing dharma, the ethical order for maintaining society. Yet he is overwhelmed by emotion and is about to quit the war (01.46).
Fortunately, Arjuna had the guidance of Krishna, who deterred Arjuna from that catastrophic decision by speaking the Gita. The Gita helped Arjuna see his emotions in perspective, in the context of his spiritual identity and ultimate purpose.
If we regularly equip ourselves with Gita wisdom, that can ground us in a purpose bigger than ourselves, thereby ensuring that we don’t take our emotions too seriously. This doesn’t mean that we neglect or suppress our emotions, but that we don’t give them a monopoly on our decision-making process. We wait for the emotions to subside, analyze the situations as objectively as possible and then use our reason and emotion in tandem to make decisions.
With the combined backing of our head and heart, we become empowered to follow up on those decisions wholeheartedly, review them periodically and revise them as necessary.
Think it over:
- What is wrong with snap decisions?
- How can we take decisions maturely?
- Which reversible emotion are you most prone to? Which irreversible decision may you take because of that? Plan how you can prevent that.
01.46 Sanjaya said: Arjuna, having thus spoken on the battlefield, cast aside his bow and arrows and sat down on the chariot, his mind overwhelmed with grief.
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