I recently shifted to a new place. Since the past one month I have been living at my current residence and have learnt a very important lesson from my landlady. The rooms that she has rented out are actually a part of her house and we can hear almost everything that is said by her (she is a pretty loud woman for someone her size). She is not really a very pleasant woman and when her own husband and son are not happy with her demeanour you can imagine the state of her tenants. I would like to tell you a story that I read somewhere before I move on. There were two brothers who grew up in a home plagued by domestic violence. Their father was a heavy drinker and in his tipsy state he would come home and beat his wife and even his sons. However, each of the two brothers grew up to be different from the other. One of them was an alcoholic like his father and the other never drank. Interestingly, both of them said that it was their father who inspired them. My point is, no matter what kind of a person someone is, you can always learn something from him/her but what you learn is a reflection of what you really want to be.
From the fights in her house which are always audible and my own conversations with her, I have drawn a conclusion that she likes to be dominating and to exercise control over others. As soon as she senses that the other person is too tough to control, she gets all agitated and turns a calm and composed discussion into a heated argument. She boasts about not letting her husband smoke inside the home. There is absolutely no doubting the fact smoking inside a home is an unwanted act which forces the non-smoker family members to be innocent victims of passive smoking but would not it be better to make your husband quit smoking rather than letting him stay out of the home all day long and smoke? Either she does not love him enough to care about making him quit or she is satisfied by keeping her home smoke free. She loves her husband more or her home? In my opinion, it is not a question of love but a question of domination and ego.
The important thing to understand is people do not like being controlled. People like being dealt with love and compassion. If a person is doing something wrong and you point fingers at him, he might not feel good about it. What is worse is making a person drown in a sea of guilt. Being guilty does not only mean that he is sorry for his mistakes but at times it can make a person think that he is already past the point of no return. Want me to give you another example to strengthen my stand? Here it is. A few days back, I was walking to my friend’s place in the evening. It was dark and I was walking through a park. Though it is a park, people can always be seen smoking there. That day, I saw a familiar face among the smokers. He was my landlady’s son who is presently in the ninth standard! Having a husband and a son who smoke but still she manages to keep her home smoke free! Good job by the landlady I must say. The moment her son saw me, he knew I recognised him and he ran away. It was clear that his mom does not know about her son’s filthy habit and he wants to keep it that way. I have not yet told his mom about it and I will not. I would like to see the boy leave the habit but the way his mom deals with his father is a major reason why he does not want to share it with his mom even if he wants advise or help to quit smoking. The day I get a chance to talk to him in private, I will surely share my views on smoking with him and hopefully encourage him to get rid of it.
Mahatma Gandhi once while sharing a part of his wisdom with the world said that instead of waiting for others to change or telling others to do the right things in order to change what is wrong, we should ourselves do the necessary and set examples for the others to learn from our actions. Furthermore, we need to understand that each person has his own right to live his life as long as his actions does not affect others in a negative manner. At times when a person who is dear to you picks up an unhealthy habit, you do have the right to make him understand that it is bad for his health and the reason you are concerned about his health is because of the love you have for him. Instead of repeatedly being critical of his actions in an upsetting manner or fighting with him about it, repeatedly show him the right thing to do gently.
The Bible also says that before you attempt to point out faults in others, you must make sure that you are not wrong. It is obvious that none can be perfect but we can always teach others and learn from others too. If challenges and life situations are approached in a poised manner, solutions and results can be obtained faster. A wise man does not choose one of the options of walking the right path or showing others the right path. Instead, he shows others the right path by walking it.