Gautam Budha

‘Do not learn how to react. Learn how to respond.’ – Buddha

Naturally, as we exist, our senses are experiencing the living world. We are always wound up in our physical, psychological, social and spiritual object relations. One minute our mind is thinking about the tasks we have to do, when we get home and the next, we are thinking about how our favorite team lost a match and how disappointed we felt. 

Now, let’s say this feeling of disappointment, is feeling uncomfortable, as such feelings do and we think of making ourselves feel better so as to not have this feeling overpower our mind and body. Thus, we go to the market and eat a pizza and have coca cola with it. Now, we start thinking again about the tasks at hand that we have to do at home. But now we feel sleepy due to the satisfying cheesy pizza and chilled coke. 

When we reach home, instead of hanging laundry and cleaning the dishes, we take a nap. Ultimately, while we were trying to make ourselves feel better, we actually end up causing loss; loss of money, time and energy. 

Emotional and Rational


Our sense of disappointment would have passed if we had been patient enough and we would have done the tasks at hand and be free to eat what we want. We also probably would have wanted to eat something healthier, since we had the time and energy and didn’t sleep. So, we make some sandwiches for ourselves that contain very little cheese and more nutrients than the fast food.


PROACTIVE REACTIVEBut first, to see the foundation of this process, we have to reduce it to the most basic elements. What is happening essentially is that we are experiencing a feeling and instead of processing it first, we are reacting to it. When we do this, it is much more a reaction from the animal BRAIN, than the human mind.

The animal brain is quick to react. The animal brain does not understand how to separately manage each unit of sensory information. The animal brain only has a few mechanisms to cope with, when faced with something that threatens the body and mind. 

RespondWhen we see a loved one doing something that hurts us, since it is such an emotional event, our animal brain has all the time and power to REACT, as the mind gets weak. 

The reaction we give, is a reaction that has not taken into account any logic of  the event, or how the other person is feeling. If a father sees his child smoking a marijuana cigarette or looking at pornographic content, instead of reacting and forcing the child to stop, it is better to take a step back. 

If we stop the child we are teaching him that his natural urges are wrong, and not mature. Of sure, a youngster is immature, but that does not make it incorrect. But if we are patient and take some time to explain to the child how it makes us feel as a parent and how we think it could harm him, there is a much higher possibility that the child will feel understood and mature to be healthier than he was.

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