From ‘Grief’ to ‘Grace’ space
Once, an acquaintance spewed venom on me in a WhatsApp group. He accused me, besides questioning my moral scruples, of politics. A certain management decision that I was part of had irked him badly. I was bewildered, and it showed on my face. Aki saw me the next morning and suggested I move from the hurt or grief space to kindness or grace area. His suggestion was simple but effective: close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply as you send ‘goodness,’ ‘love’ or ‘warmth’ to your critic. I did feel some relief, and Aki clarified that this is a practical step to move towards compassion and forgiveness.
He then asked me what I love to do. I learn verses from the scriptures as a hobby, and he suggested I do that right away. Not only did that distract me from the hatred message but it also helped discover my inner peace; I was after all not used to people lashing out at me. Aki smiled mischievously, “Welcome son, you are now baptized into the world of management.” He then quoted Aristotle who said, “Criticism is something you can easily avoid if you say nothing, do nothing and be nothing.”
Over time I realized the gentleman who despised me had problems with others as well, and that’s when I remembered what John Maxwell said in one of his self-help books, “If Bob has a problem with everyone, then Bob is the problem.” When people pass hypercritical judgments on you, it usually stems from their own insecurities- they, unfortunately, try to feel better by prowling on others around them. If someone has a stinking fish stuck on his mustache, he’ll likely declare that the whole world smells. Aki warned me, “If you too hate him, remember now it’s both of you suffering. You can’t drink poison and expect him to die!”
To be continued….