Speak to give people peace of mind, not a piece of your mind
When people do something infuriating, we feel like giving them a piece of our mind, blasting them for being irresponsible, insensitive, intractable or whatever else.
However, such verbal explosions hardly ever help in resolving the issue. When we react impulsively and speak aggressively, people become defensive and closed to whatever we say, even if it is factual and is beneficial for them. Then, are we meant to repress our feelings? No, we just need to ensure that our incidental feelings don’t interfere with our long-term purpose.
Spiritual wisdom helps us develop such strength of purpose. The Bhagavad-gita explains that we are souls, parts of Krishna, and are meant to find lasting fulfillment by learning to love and serve him. When we live spiritually by practicing bhakti-yoga, we gradually realize our indestructible essence, a realization that expands our conceptions. By considering things from the eternal perspective, we understand that one event in a particular interaction in a particular relationship in this brief lifetime is not all that consequential. What is far more consequential is that we keep progressing towards Krishna without being distracted by others’ actions – and, as much as is possible, we also help them progress towards Krishna.
For using our power of speech in a spiritually progressive way, the Bhagavad-gita (17.15) recommends: Speak non-agitatingly, truthfully, pleasingly, beneficially, scripturally. By staying rooted in our devotional connection with Krishna, we can express our concerns intelligibly. When we stay calm and speak in a way that helps people calm down, then rational discussions can occur and constructive solutions can emerge.
Even if others don’t become cooperative, our temperance of our speech pleases Krishna. He bestows his mercy, which enables us to become devotionally absorbed in him. By the resulting serenity and clarity, we can find the best way forward.
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