Active And Passive Acceptance

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Active And Passive Acceptance

Friday, 07 June 2024 | Ravi Valluri

Active And Passive Acceptance

Be grateful with your heart and soul to anyone who offers you anything

Harilal Gandhi (1888-1948), Manilal, Ramdas and Devdas were the four sons of Gandhiji and Kasturba. However, the children could not accept their father. They resented the fact that the illustrious father did not impart formal education to the children.

Harilal Gandhi, became an alcoholic, an embezzler, known for public drunkenness and destitution, and was an apoState. He converted to Islam and was known as Abdullah Gandhi. Though he loved his parents, he could not accept his father’s ideology of parenting.

What do we mean by acceptance? Acceptance in human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality or situation, recognising a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it or protest.

A woman is married into a family and brings with her the baggage of her ideology. Similarly, the family she is married into have their own thought process. Are they able to accept the lady?

A rich person during the times of Buddha, was desirous of becoming a monk and joining the Sangha. Buddha the Compassionate One, was willing to accept the person in the fold but made it clear that he needs to accept everyone in thought and deed. The wealthy person with all abundance meditated and returned to Buddha and accepted the condition. But added that he could accept everyone save two people. Buddha smiled and said, that the Sangha would make an exception in the case of the individual, that he need not accept 98 persons, but accept only those two individuals. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, elucidates further that there is a concept of active and passive acceptance. In case there is corruption in society, we may just tolerate the corruption and do nothing about it. However, in case of active acceptance, we take a stand.

In our minds, we need to create a space where we are willing to accept all the qualities (be they acceptable or not) of a person. Only through unconditional love can we accept a person. But this is possible only if we can live in the present moment. A meditative mind would be in a State to accept situations, conditions and people. The locale and circumstances keep changing thus our minds should be trained in such a manner, that it is willing to accept those situations. As Buddha says, the only permanent thing in life is its impermanence.

By not accepting people and situations we are only torturing our minds. Our minds need rest and peace. Unnecessary thoughts keep cropping up in our system as to what the other person feels about us without discerning that the concerned individual is not even bothered about what our State of mind is.

To my mind, all religions and faiths need to accept each other to maintain sanity in the world. Political barriers have collapsed with increasing globalisation and technology. The world has become ‘flat’, thus individuals and nations need to accept all ideologies, to avoid conflict. We need to intellectually and emotionally accept people.

John Lennon penned those iconic lines,

‘Imagine there’s no heaven

It’s easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people ….’

“The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favour wish that he might have done you a great one,” wrote Martin Luther King Jr.

(The writer is the CEO of Chhattisgarh East Railway Ltd.and Chhattisgarh East West Railway Ltd. He is a faculty of the Art of Living; views are personal)

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