Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Like Good Wine


There are so many things we learn to do(better) with age and experience. We might actually lose spontaneity, but we are certainly not as brash as we might have been. I can definitely vouch for this.

A few years ago, I would not have been able to deal with the various kinds of people I come across - I would either act snobbish or just shut up(or shut down). If someone was not like me or likeable by me(!) - I couldn't deal with them. I'm sorry I was that way, I'm glad I'm not like that anymore. Nowadays I find myself dealing with all kinds - the likeable ones, the tolerable ones, different ones, weird ones and the unlikable ones. And by 'dealing' I mean being sociable and not labeling someone because they are different.

Another skill I've picked up along the way is to be diplomatic - don't know if that's the right word actually - what I really mean is being able to put things nicely.....even when it isn't the best news to convey or the most pleasant subject. And who better to learn from than Mr.Gandhi(the original!) - here is a line from a letter he wrote to Hitler trying to dissuade him from causing The War.

"It is quite clear that you are today the one person in the world who can prevent a war which may reduce humanity to the savage state. Must you pay that price for an object, however worthy it may appear to you to be?"

Hitler went against all that Gandhi stood for. He must have despised him - or maybe he was really tolerable to the extent that he did not despise anyone - though that's really hard to believe. In spite of all this, he comes across really calm and collected. He might not have actually stopped the war, but personally, I would be far more convinced by someone who spoke to me like this. But then again - everyone is different!

7 comments:

Anju said...

That was an intense bit towards the end. :) Tolerance is definitely something you learn with time because by then you give up expecting everyone to be someone you can get along with. In the words of someone I admire,
"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are eother charming or tedious" - Oscar Wilde. :p

Bungi said...

Have you heard of the phrase 'intolerant of the intolerant'? I found it very interesting when i first heard it. Oftentimes, we get so impatient with those who are not willing to be tolerant.

Nice post. Makes one think, i say.

PMJohnson said...

Thanks for the comments. But I have to say, sometimes when your patience is tested to breaking point - it's difficult to be tolerant and diplomatic!

Shweta said...

Can one become too tolerant?

Anju said...

Have you forgotten your password again? ;p

ahiri said...

what is eating your time ?
blog gurl .....

pravin said...

Wasn't it Gandhi who said, "Hitler is acting in the best interests of his state" or something to that effect.