1. We all want happiness. Happiness is a state of mind, during our journey of life. We need to achieve it in our daily life. It is not the goal of our life, which we will discover in the end.
* Mathematically, Happiness = (Number of fulfilled desires)/(Total number of fulfilled and unfulfilled desires). How can we increase our happiness? Increase the numerator or decrease the denominator.
* Oriental philosophy is: Be contented always and cut down the number of unfulfilled desires.
* In the West, the philosophy is: To be happy, work hard and achieve, your desires. If we can satisfy more desires, we will be more happy in life.
The key words are: Acceptance, Imperfections, and Expectations.
2. A friend, sibling, spouse, or an in-law can embarrass a person in public or in private over a minor issue: a missed etiquette, imperfect table manners, slouchy gait, laziness, monetary issues, and non-conformity with prevalent social norms. The victim is hurt, and keeps quiet; but remembers the incident for ever and is mentally perturbed.
3. Acceptance means:
(a) Accepting the imperfect behavior of a friend, spouse, or sibling as a past occurrence, with no impact on future; but conveying them of your unhappiness on their impoliteness.
(b) If the friend takes offense, when you convey your unhappiness, it is better to avoid the friend in future. As it isn’t possible to avoid siblings or spouse, we need to avoid such situations tactfully, by diverting the discussion.
(c) Finally, learn to forgive and forget. It ensures a stable mind in harmony, which sends positive vibrations around; otherwise a stressed mind continues to send negative vibrations, after having received unfriendly comments.
(d) People carry their hatred in their minds, till death. It is unproductive, and destroys the peace of mind and harmony in relationships. The paradox is: The victim or who is hurt emotionally, is full of anger, hatred, and is sulking for decades, and the friend or relation who commented, the indiscreet remark, is relaxed, having forgotten, the episode.
(e) Humanity is full of such victims, who refuse to move forward, to forgive and forget. Thus we all suffer, on this count. Nobody is willing to shed the hatred, as if it is a treasure worth preserving.
* Acceptance does not mean, we have to tolerate the offensive comments when ever, these are made. Acceptance means to accept the hurts or comments with no ill will feelings – hatred, anger, and ego clash; and let it go – not carrying forward. There after, the mind is cool and stable.
* Let’s learn to accept an individual as he or she is – with imperfections. We are all different. It does not mean that some of us are right and others are wrong. A person may be untidy, but efficient otherwise. Accept him as he is. We all can be different and yet all can be right. Subconsciously, we compare ourselves with others all the time – social status, thoughts, and capabilities. We are elated, when we feel we are superior. Happiness based on comparison is never permanent. Etiquette demands we should not laugh at others, we should laugh with others.
* There is too much emphasis on tangible actions – smart appearance, ability to handle goons, ability to spend more – and too little is said about intangible traits – honesty, humility, and kindness – of an individual.
* We expect from our parents, spouse, siblings, children, friends, and in-laws: acknowledgements, thanks, and basic courtesy. We expect sharing the life and its memories with spouse, children, parents, daughter-in-law or son-in-law. A spouse may be too possessive, rigid in the behaviour, and has certain expectations. It may not work out amicably with other spouse.
The solution is Accept the imperfections, without any expectations.
* It is not easy to forget and forgive. It is the main cause of lack of harmony in relationships. My father who is 93 years, forgets my name, but he still remembers clearly his fights in weekly progress meetings 4 decades ago, with his colleagues.
* We all offer unsolicited advice. We can advise, but we can’t change the people. We can only influence them, that too, only if we follow our own advice.
* When born, we are all Godly, pure souls. Our soul is conditioned, due to ego, hatred, and anger. We differentiate God-made relations – parents, siblings, children – and man-made relations – spouse, and in-laws. Our souls are no longer pure. We must accept the reality, that we are all more attached to our God-made relations.
* Let’s accept the imperfection in the spouse happily, for every individual is imperfect. A search for a perfect spouse is an hypothetical, utopian activity. A search for a better spouse for second marriage is victory for hope, over reality. if you feel you can find a better alternative, remember: all human beings are imperfect, only God is perfect. Try marrying God.