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Putting Up With Impossible People

Putting up with impossible people necessitates a change in outlook towards ourselves and, as a sequel, towards others. If we are sparks of divinity, the Atman, so are others. Maybe not everyone is struggling for freedom, but that does not undermine their divine essence. And we have no case for blaming others because all of us are what we are because of our mental make-up, our samskaras.

‘Never say any man is hopeless, because he only represents a character, a bundle of habits, which can be checked by new and better ones.’ (Swami Vivekananda)

Character is repeated habits, and repeated habits alone can reform character.’ We believe that we can turn over a new leaf some day. We need to extend that belief to others as well: they too can become better. Of course, we need not spend our energies in transforming others, but a proper mindset can help us see people in perspective. Rightly it is said that when we put ourselves in the other person’s place, we are less likely to want to put him in his place.

When his disciple Bhavanath told Sri Ramakrishna that he felt disturbed if he had some misunderstanding with others, the Master told him, ‘Try at the outset to talk to him and establish a friendly relationship with him. If you fail in spite of your efforts, then don’t give it another thought. Take refuge in God. Meditate on Him. There is no use in giving up God and feeling depressed from thinking about others.

Suffering others’ foolishness unflinchingly is not just a pet theory. Holy Mother’s (Sharada Devi)  life is an ample demonstration of its immense possibility. There was no dearth of foolish, insane and greedy people under her care. She suffered them all thanks to her pure mind, which was always rooted in God.