Saturday, May 18, 2013
Response vs React
While I was in a restaurant, suddenly a cockroach flew from somewhere and sat on a lady standing a little away from me.
She started screaming out of fear. With panic stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach. Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group got cranky to what was happening. The lady finally managed to push the cockroach to another lady in the group.
Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama. The waiter rushed forward to their rescue. In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter. The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the cockroach on his shirt. When he was confident enough, he grabbed and threw it out with his fingers.
Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, my mind picked up a few thoughts and started wondering:
- Was the cockroach responsible for the ladies' histrionic behavior?
- If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed? He handled it near to perfection - without any chaos or drama.
- So, it was not the cockroach, but the inability of the ladies to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach that disturbed them.
I also realized even in my case then, it is not the shouting of my father or scolding of my boss that disturbs me, but it's my own inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturb me. Similarly, it's not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused in my mind by the traffic jam that disturbs me.
- The women reacted but the waiter responded.
- We must not react in life; we should always respond.
- Reactions are instinctive; responses are intellectual.
‘If you judge people, you have no time to love them’