Saturday, 12 November 2016

Swallow Your Pride

Rajesh Hamal
Rajesh Hamal, a veteran actor of the Nepali film industry, once shared his painful feelings of regret regarding his damaged relationship with his father who was against Rajesh’s career choice, via a popular television programme. An ego had come between their father-son relationship and they stopped communicating with each other. In such an estranged situation the father went to Pakistan as an ambassador and he suddenly passed away after a month over there. Even though Hamal still loved his father dearly, he could not express his feelings for him.
In another instance, Joel Osteen recounts a story of a sad man in his book ‘Become a Better You.’ The character of Joel’s is at odds with his father over a business decision, which leads to them cutting ties with each other. The heart-broken man says, “Joel, I knew deep down inside that I needed to make it right, but I kept putting it off. Then earlier this week, I received a call informing me that my father had suffered a heart attack and died.”
We can see the line between these men’s stories. Although they are from different contexts, they share the same pain of not having a healthy line of communication with their fathers and losing them unexpectedly. Their emotional guilt must be greater than anything we have ever felt. Yet, they cannot change their situation now; it is too late for them to make amendments. After all, what held them back from making the first move? Certainly, their egos. The same ego may have stopped their fathers from reaching out to their sons. And the consequences are painful.  The fathers might have died with regrets for not speaking with their sons for such a long time and the sons may suffer from similar feelings of regret throughout their lives.
Jade Goody(left) & Shilpa Shetty (right) 

On the other hand, the winner of Celebrity Big Brother UK 2007 and the Bollywood actress, Shilpa Shetty, swallowed her pride and immediately extended forgiveness towards her co-contestant Jade Goody despite the fact that Jade terribly and racially bullied Shilpa in the Big Brother house constantly. Unfortunately, Jade died of cervical cancer in 2009. Unlike Rajesh Hamal and the man mentioned above in Joel’s recount, Shilpa did not have to live with guilt.

All these three cases indicate that life is uncertain and we always have choices – whether we should or should not do something. Here the choice in question is whether to forgive someone. Forgiveness is a big asset that all human beings have at their disposal. Commonly, however, they prefer to hold on to their ego because it is a lot easier. It is found that sticking to one’s ego is useless; spiritualists term it “false ego”. We are usually in our default mindset of “I am right and everyone else is wrong”, but the truth is that no one is really wrong. The differences between people occur because of different perspectives on similar situations. A thing to remember is that a false ego never elevates us to be a better person but forgiveness does; Shilpa Shetty exemplified this in a manner that very few are capable of, and went on grabbing the world’s attention for being nice to her greatest critic.

The question is not who is right or who is wrong or who takes the first move towards apology, but who has the courage to forgive others and move on. It should be noted that by forgiving others we are not doing them a favour. Forgiveness helps us maintain our peace of mind. Outwardly, we pretend not to care about the person we feel is “wrong”, but the person dwells in our mind until and unless we settle the issue we associate with the wrong-doer. Forgiveness is God’s invaluable gift to humanity, and we should acknowledge and utilise this to the best of our ability. Therefore, swallow your pride today and apologise even if in your opinion it was not your fault. Doing this you make peace with yourself.

(Published in an English Daily The Rising Nepal on Saturday, November 12, 2016) 

[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.]

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I would appreciate any and all suggestions on making improvements (as long as they are viable).