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So, how did that dinner turn out in the end? Epilogue and new lab

fork knife spoon

Many of you reacted to the first extract from Juliette’s experience and the case study based on it: Backbiting as a main dish? What do you think? So, did the situation involve backbiting? The poll results are unequivocal: yes! However, while 89% of you considered it was Juliette’s duty to defend her colleague (“yes” or “somewhat”), only 53% believed keeping quiet was not sufficient, and 11% that keeping quiet was a mistake. Meanwhile, a total of 35% considered that keeping quiet was sufficient (19%) or “already excellent” (6%). Most of you thus agree on the theory, but opinions are split as to how to best deal with this situation in practice—the diversity of the comments testify to it.

 

Indeed, many insisted on the necessity to take into account the context, the personality of the guests, one’s own personality, one’s rights and duties (what do we owe to whom?), etc. In short, none of this is simple and each situation is unique.

The large number of comments attests to one thing: Juliette’s story could very well be our own… Backbiting has become a pastime like any other that we can indulge in everywhere and with everyone; an easy conversation topic that, often, brings people together and that we tend to see as trivial because “everybody does it”… It has thus become virtually impossible to avoid it. How do we react when we are confronted with backbiting, whether from others or through our own desire to speak ill of others? What do we do to pull through? It is easy, after the fact, to look back and see what we should have done, but fighting against backbiting on a daily basis requires attention, efforts, and a good level of self-knowledge. Now in practice, where do we start?

In view of all these questions, we are very pleased to share with you this exclusive announcement: a new lab, entirely devoted to the question of backbiting will be made available very shortly on OstadElahi inPractice. This lab will provide several key pointers, as well as multiple resources, to assist those who wish to enhance their understanding of and familiarity with this issue, and, most importantly, to concretely and actively start battling against backbiting.

But before we get to this, let us still go back to Juliette and her sorbets. In this second installment, we provide you with the anecdote in its entirety, including its long-awaited epilogue. Juliette’s choices merely constitute examples among a multitude of possibilities, and are not to be viewed as the most correct answer to the question: “How would you deal with this situation?” It is, however, very interesting to read about Juliette’s initial issue as laid out in her introduction—overcoming her fear of being disliked—and about the effect of her decisions, both on herself and on others. A successful dinner?

A successful dinner

 

I have come to realize a few years ago and despite my professional experience, that those who hold the reins in my field of work still consider that I have to prove myself. This situation induces a feeling of fear from which I suffer: a fear of being disliked—which, in my field, could mean losing my job. I thus fiercefully started fighting against this fear by trying to “arm myself with courage”. I tried to apply the principle of “doing the opposite”. I may be scared and stressed, but it must not show and I must strive to be more assertive. The following experience was very useful to me, because it drove me into a corner and showed me the positive effects of being more assertive.

Some time ago I hosted a dinner with people who were important to me, professionally as well as on a more personal level. I had been trying to make this evening happen for a while and finally managed to do so, despite everyone’s busy schedule…

During the dinner, quite unexpectedly, through the influence of the leading personality of the evening, some of the guests started attacking someone I used to know and who, as a matter of fact, had been the first person to give me my chance professionally. Everyone seemed to have their own juicy story filled with harsh criticism and topped with condescendence and laughter to contribute. To be fair, her latest projects had not been very convincing and it had become common knowledge in our professional community. Although shocked by their comments, I first decided to keep quiet, with two good justifications in mind. One of them, I thought, was in line with ethics—“The fact that I don’t join in means that I don’t agree with them and there is no need for me to say so out loud. My wholehearted inner disapproval is sufficient and makes it unnecessary for me to intervene. My conscience is clear.”—the other one, more selfish—“If I give my opinion, it’s going to kill the mood… And if they disagree, they are going to hold it against me, I will be discredited and lose the benefit of this evening.”

I told myself that they would move on to something else eventually. I could not have been more wrong. The topic seemed inexhaustible. Meanwhile, a little voice within me started teasing me: “Beware! Silence means consent…”, but I still hesitated to intervene and instead found an excuse to leave the table: “I’ll be right back, I’ll go get the desert.”

I took my time, carefully and amorously prepared the sorbets and triumphantly walked back in, convinced that the delicious sight of the ice cream would hijack the conversion: wrong again! The conversation was in full swing and seemed unstoppable. I then attempted, with a touch of approximative humour and a little servile laugh, to force them out of the conversation by talking about the sorbets, how I had prepared them, the flavors I had chosen to meet their preferences… basically, the usual nonsense one would blabber for fear of intervening or taking sides. As a result, they marvelled at the sorbets for about one second and then… back to square one.
I thus went for my first attempt at conciliation: “Hey guys, how about we change the subject ? We’ve covered everything on that one, haven’t we?”

They all stopped and looked at me, and the leader said: “Oh but that’s right, you worked with that woman for a while! I’m sure it wasn’t easy every day with her, right? Come on, let it out!”

I had my back to the wall…

I realised that this whole situation was the occasion for me to confront my fear and cowardice. If I wanted to stay true to the fundamental principle of respecting the rights of others, I had no choice but to intervene, even if it meant losing face.

I quickly started picturing all the consequences of what I was about to say and do. 100% negative! I could already see myself losing in a matter of seconds all the credit I had fought so hard to earn in the eyes of those who had just spent over half an hour pulling this person to pieces.

But then I remembered the ethical principles I vehemently try to respect on a daily basis and I looked at myself with disdain. I was filled with affection toward this woman who had done so much for me. All this backbiting had made me care about her all the more. I didn’t even question the truth of what my guests were saying, and I tried to motivate myself: “I am the host, I gave them a first ‘nice’ warning, but they shamelessly carried on, I have to say something. I am about to take a most likely catastrophic risk, but it doesn’t matter what happens, I will defend the rights of this person who is not here to do it herself. It is my duty to intervene. It’s the opportunity for me to be brave and confront my fear, I cannot miss it! With Your help, dear God, and a bit of willpower, I will take my courage in both hands!”

I addressed myself to the “leader”. I defended, as honestly as I possibly could, the accused: I told them of my affection for her, I explained how she had helped me getting started in this profession, how much I owed her, and I told them that in any event I wasn’t going to put up with them speaking ill of her any longer, or of anyone else for that matter. They then started to make fun of me, in a mean way.

But since I had taken this first courageous step—the most difficult one—the second one was going to be easier, without any fear of the consequences. I “calmly” got angry and explained to them that if they were going to carry on like this at my table, I did not feel like staying with them, that I was going to retire to my bedroom and they could enjoy the rest of the dinner without me, and I even asked them to please remember to shut the door behind them on their way out! I got up, with my heart pounding, determined to act exactly as I said.

Miraculously, it made them laugh. They called me back: “Oh come on, don’t get upset! What a temper!” And the leader went on: “Wow, what a diatribe! Well, I am glad to be your friend. At least I know that if people start denigrating me at a dinner at which I am not invited, if you are there, someone will be there to defend me…”. The others agreed, while still making fun of me a little bit so as not to lose face entirely. The big name of the evening had ruled in my favour, so the others followed. I was granted a few nicknames: “Don Quixote”, “The champion of lost causes”…

I was overwhelmed with a feeling of serenity; I felt reassured internally and true to myself. In addition, I think that in the end I earned their respect and the evening ended joyfully. When they took leave, I was the one shutting the door behind them.

Further readings:

Backbiting as a main dish? What do you think?

What is it that makes a dinner successful? Delightful dishes, a nice atmosphere, guests who get along, who feel happy by the end of the evening and, on their way out, sincerely compliment their host… [read more]

Staying true to yourself

Staying true to yourself

Ostad Elahi’s philosophy is, as we know, grounded in the personal efforts made to gain greater self-knowledge not with the perspective of self development but of spiritual development. However, as soon as you set out to concretely experiment this philosophy… [read more]

Penrose Triangle

Ethics in a delicate situation: what do you think?

Jack and Kelly are a couple. Jack is very socially involved and devotes a lot of his time to charitable activities in their neighborhood. Winter has been particularly harsh this year and Jack has been volunteering… [read more]

raiting - vote - stars

An ethical dilemma on TripAdvisor: what do you think?

We had looked up somewhat systematically comments and ratings shared by fellow travellers on TripAdvisor, in order to plan a few days of vacation. For those unfamiliar with it, TripAdvisor is a website that allows… [read more]


See also:


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35 comments

  1. Lisa Jun 05, 2015 11:39 am 1

    I had such a good feeling after reading the end of the story. It needs a lot of courage but it also gives you a great reward. The only danger here is that this feeling might turn into pride instead of gratitude to the Source.

    1. run Jun 08, 2015 7:58 pm 1.1

      Thank you for your comment. I think it is very important to remember always to be thankful to the Source, because one’s imperious self will always be in the background and say: “I did it”.

    2. bani Jun 08, 2015 8:01 pm 1.2

      I don’t think the feeling of serenity should be confused with pride or that it might turn into pride. I don’t know the difference because I have never really fought my imperious self to know and experience the feeling your certifying conscience gives you. And my guess is that you (and me) simply may not have experienced that feeling. This is why you confuse it with pride.

      1. kbld Jun 10, 2015 10:54 am 1.2.1

        @bani
        I think you didn’t fully understand what Lisa wrote. She writes about the /danger/ that a reward from God might turn into pride rather than gratitude to Him. And indeed, the imperious self can infiltrate all sorts of feelings. But I don’t think she confuses serenity with pride at all!

  2. David Jun 05, 2015 12:39 pm 2

    “One should live in such a way so as to never have to conceal anything from anyone.”

    Reading the end of Juliette’s story got my pulse going quite a bit. I wish I had her wisdom, integrity, and courage.

    “We have but one wish: that He enable us to always realize His will, and that His will be the source of our aspirations.”

    A wonderful testament to fighting against the imperious self with help from the One
    1. The voice of her conscience alarming her that the rights of her colleague were being infringed.
    2. Her sound reason weighing the material and spiritual consequences of remaining silence versus speaking out, and identifying the optimal strategies.
    3. Auto-suggesting a sense of submission to the One by considering the worst possible consequences and submitting to all them.
    4. Subsequently, using her willpower and irascible faculty, together with metacausal energy from the One, to overcome the instinctual fear of material loss that her ego was advocating.
    5. The sweet serenity and comforting sense of joy that her certifying conscience instilled in her being.

    “What greater pleasure than being prepared to align oneself with His will.”

    Quotes by Ostad Elahi (http://www.ostadelahi.com, 2015)

    1. run Jun 07, 2015 2:30 pm 2.1

      Thank you for your great comment and analysis. Could you please elaborate as to why the first citation in your comment is relevant in this context. Thank you.

      1. David Jun 18, 2015 10:27 pm 2.1.1

        Thank you for the kind words. Well if she had joined in on the back-biting, or kept quiet, she would probably have been burdened with an uncomfortable secret. But the way she managed this evening, she ended up feeling light as a feather, without the slightest need to make up a version of the events that justified her actions, should she one day be confronted with them. She has nothing to conceal.

      2. bani Jun 24, 2015 11:15 am 2.1.2

        I had the same question as run. Thank you so much David. Now that you explain it, the connection of the first citation seems obvious and self-evident in the context. But I just could not se it before.

      3. run Jun 25, 2015 1:14 am 2.1.3

        Thank you David for your reply. It was an interesting answer, which got me to think. Good point that one should be honest to oneself.

  3. Mini Jun 05, 2015 3:04 pm 3

    This story brought tears to my eyes. I feel that I lack a lot of courage and this story motivated me in a way that I wanna go out there and practice it! Thank you! Thank you!

  4. D. Jun 05, 2015 4:29 pm 4

    Same here, almost brought tears to my eyes and I think thats because any action that people take to align themselves with His will has a simillar effect. It reaches hearts and moves people. I already feel I have a little extra energy to fight my temptations for backbiting in the future and I absolutely admire her bravery.

  5. Sayeh Jun 05, 2015 7:31 pm 5

    What I find outstanding is that she kept trying to find a way to defend that person. If it had been me, after the first attempt, I might simply have told myself “I did what I could, it is out of my hand..” But she truly challenged herself and didn’t give up, this is the true effort.

    as the others are saying, my feeling after reading this story was amazing, I was about to go to bed to take a rest, but suddenly got an energy to go out to do something for someone who had asked for my help earlier and I had refused because I was so tired!

  6. mary Jun 06, 2015 2:48 pm 6

    I have to say, her second reaction, dose not sound 100% right to me. As, she writes: “They then started to make fun of me, in a mean way”; one could easily assume that her second reaction was driven by a wounded ego here, and not out of pure morality like her first reaction. As all of us have probably experienced, the nature of the events might change quickly and it needs extra vigilance to realize a shift has happened in just a second or two, as our imperious-self is ready to take advantage of even our most ethical acts. It was the guest that acted more humbly and tactfully after she threatened to leave them. After all, she was the hostess of the night, which puts her guests in an unpleasantly vulnerable situation if she was to get too assertive or hostile.
    As much as I admire her first reaction for standing up courageously for what’s right, with the right reasons, her second prolonged one was too much , with an equivocal intention.(considering that she was the hostess and her ego had been attacked by their mocking remarks).

    1. kbld Jun 08, 2015 1:09 pm 6.1

      @mary
      I think you have it right. Her reaction was “too much” as a general example to follow. It was too unfriendly and disproportionate to the situation.
      .
      But given her nature, I think she had no choice. She says fear and cowardice are part of her personality. She didn’t have a choice: it was going to be all or nothing. We have to imagine this kind of person, very shy: once it has started, it cannot stop. Next time, she will do better, i.e. act in a more balanced way. But for a first time, she could not do it.
      The reason why I think it was better to do too much than nothing, is that what was being said was false. I mean, it was clearly a violation of the rights of the other person. Perhaps Juliette infringed a little the rights of her guests as well, but they were the guilty ones in the first place, it was them who put her in that situation, and Juliette’s friend hadn’t done anything, so she had priority.
      The result of her action is that 1) she did not participate through her silence to slander and 2) she acquired some social respectability. Because she did the right thing /for her/, God helped her with the unexpected result.
      It could be seen as a double grace: she was forced not to remain silent in spite of the fact that this was slander and she had a chance to overcome a weak point of hers, all at once.
      As a conclusion, the way she reacted is not necessarily an example to follow, but the fact that she reacted despite her opposite personality is in my opinion a good example to remember.
      .
      I think we all have fears other than fear of God, otherwise we would be perfect. And when it is a matter of respecting the rights of others, I think it is better to do too much than not enough. Because there will always be thousands of reasons to choose the easy way out and not to do anything. Besides, the imperious self takes advantage of psychological weak points, like in the Bystander Effect.

      1. Rose Jun 08, 2015 4:13 pm 6.1.1

        Very nicely put and so appropriate of you to defend another perceptive on this particular thread! We all struggle with balance, and for me personally I struggle with the opposite spectrum -I have to work on toning down my passionate reactions so they do not come off as aggressive. I can relate to wanting to do nothing sometimes instead, mainly with the fear that my reaction will only lead to a negative outcome due to my flawed delivery. Everyone’s comments have opened my eyes wider. Thank you.

    2. bani Jun 08, 2015 7:42 pm 6.2

      We shouldn’t expect her to be a Saint! It “does not seem 100 % right to me”?! It is her wounded ego! As David writes she uses her irascible faculty.

      1. kbld Jun 10, 2015 11:06 am 6.2.1

        @bani
        You may want to read again more closely what mary wrote. She doesn’t mean that Juliette did something absolutely awful, she only point out that she disagrees with the second part of her reaction.
        By “It does not seem 100 % right to me”, she merely means to say more politely and tactfully that Juliette’s reaction seems not right to her.

    3. run Jun 08, 2015 8:18 pm 6.3

      Thank you Mary and kbld. I think the guests were friendly and handled the situation well. Perhaps other guests would not have done that. But overall I think she did a very good job.

      I used to think like this in different situations: I have to say something because God would like it, or I should not do this because He will not be satisfied. But thinking in terms of rights and duties makes it easier to prioritize among these rights and duties.

  7. Coco Jun 06, 2015 4:39 pm 7

    Thank you for this very insightful article. I’ve recently been working on a character weakness I’ve identified but been unable to determine how to address. While it is not backbiting, I realize from the conclusion presented here that it puts me in exactly the same position the host found herself in, having the fear of incurring a negative material consequence influence my behavior. This article is very inspiring.

  8. Lisa Jun 06, 2015 10:16 pm 8

    The following question is coming to my mind and is bothering me: If I, as the host, had the same feeling as all my guests against the person they all were backbiting, how would I react then? It would need quite a lot more courage. I am not sure I would have this braveness at all and I do not know how I could end that conversation.

    1. ami Jun 08, 2015 4:03 pm 8.1

      I sometimes simply step out when it turns into “corpsebiting”. I dislike it.

  9. Haleh Jun 08, 2015 10:35 am 9

    What I liked the most in this story is the steps she takes. I have always known that I should defend the person who is not present, but in doing so many times, I realized, I was sending a message: I am good, you are bad! So I stopped defending at all.
    With this article, I will try a new approach. First I will try to be quite. Most times the talk will finish soon without me intervening. If it will not stop, I might leave the group for a while. Then I will try to change the subject. Then a short friendly warning: “Hey guys, how about we change the subject ? We’ve covered everything on that one, haven’t we?”
    Only if these steps will not work, I can bravely stand for the person and defend her/him, not by saying what you say is wrong, but by saying how much I like/owe that person and I do not want to hear people talk behind their back.
    Thank you, very helpful. I will put it into practice.

  10. marc vial Jun 09, 2015 12:28 am 10

    I think the reaction of Juliette was too emotional and too radical without really making any valuable contribution to the discussion (or putting the discussion in a path to be more adult). in short she told her guests take it or leave it. While it was disruptive and unlocked the situation onto something else, it didnt really make Juliette earn any respect as many responded just by mimicking the reaction of the leader and these people will be the first ones to discuss Juliette at another dinner without her being present. I believe that a more argumentative/point by point thorough discussion where Juliette could have tried to open the views of others may have been more valuable. now if they have a herd behavior, probably nothing would have change. however having a constructive debate with the leader would have probably left a different conclusion than being a Don Quixote, as in the context it sounds more of a negative attribute.

  11. Particle Jun 10, 2015 5:02 am 11

    I commend Juliette for her bravery and her in vivo action. She performed marvelously despite her ego pressuring her and scaring her under the excuse of losing vanity points from her colleagues. She talked the talk and then walked the walk. Bravo and I hope, with His help, I can do the same in similar situations.

  12. Particle Jun 22, 2015 4:05 am 12

    I was thinking more about this article. I wonder to what extent internal negative thoughts about particular people can be related to backbiting? Of course those particular people can’t perceive my thoughts (internal backbiting?) about them but I have recently tried to fight against such feelings and develop a positive viewpoint based on their good qualities.

    1. rosa Jun 25, 2015 12:22 pm 12.1

      “People can’t perceive my thoughts”, well I’ve experienced that at some point or another my thoughts materialize (i.e. a grimace or a comment I toss out) thus I try to control it at its source.

    2. leo Jun 29, 2015 11:56 am 12.2

      @Particle. I’d be interested in having more details about how you’re fighting such feelings and develop a positive viewpoint.

      1. particle Jul 01, 2015 2:52 pm 12.2.1

        @leo. I am still in the midst of battle so I cannot say what I am trying to do will be successful although perhaps and I hope, I am gaining the upper-hand after many months. First what motivates me is knowing that negative thoughts about people will stop the flow of divine light and perhaps stop my spiritual progress.

        It seems to me that it is something like what Juliette went through except internally. The voice of conscience acts as the protagonist (Juliette) and the imperious self acts like the antagonist (or “the backbiter” for lack of a better word). Just like Juliette, I have to expend energy or else the imperious self will take over by itself. However, unlike the external setting of the backbiter, the imperious self does not stop and wait for another time. A few practical things I tried to do:

        1) Practical exercise of seeking metacausal energy in order to do these things
        2) Auto-suggestion and remembering also the nice acts of the same people in order to develop a positive viewpoint.
        3) Auto-suggestion that I myself have made more or similar mistakes in order to develop a positive viewpoint.
        4) Practical exercise of being nice to those people
        5) Finding those faults within myself.
        6) Perhaps a valuable lesson. My son hit me with a small object yesterday when I picked him up for lunch. He wanted to play but I picked him up and put him in his chair as he wasn’t coming for lunch and was not eating well in the few days prior. Obviously, since it is my son, I tried to just advise him and it didn’t bother me. I gave him a kiss too and I could not care less. Now, I wonder if someone else did that, I would probably not have the same reaction at all. Since those people are not family related, it is harder to act the same but I should not differentiate as they should get the same treatment. They are imperfect souls, my son is an imperfect soul and I am an imperfect soul, and we are all here to mature and develop our soul.

        Eventually through time (“time heals”) as well as the above, I hope those negative feelings dissipate to null. If you or others think of any other suggestions, please let me know.

      2. leo Jul 03, 2015 12:27 pm 12.2.2

        @particle. Thanks for sharing this practical experience. What do you mean by a practical exercise of seeking metacausal energy in order to do these things ? Is it through a dialogue with the One ?
        I’ve also experienced that when I’m thinking about what do to, I follow the voice of my conscience and I also receive energy. For example, I tend to have a better discernment of how to do it. And after my action in that direction, I tend to feel light and happy.

      3. particle Jul 03, 2015 7:28 pm 12.2.3

        @leo. Yes that is what I meant. I meant to also say that the imperious self does not just stop once if you push back. I have to push it back constantly until hopefully its toxic energy with regards to this weakness is neutralized (at least for me with regards to this exercise). One has to be on guard and not to underestimate the opponent here (“never underestimate your opponent” sun tzu), but I am slowly feeling that the toxic energy my imperious self generated with regards to this particular situation is decaying linearly (not exponentially or in one instant as I hoped for). It would be cool if one could actually quantify the decay this toxic energy and its decay rate in a mathematical fashion.

        As a reminder for myself, if you check http://www.ostadelahi-indepth.com/
        and look for the course “Exploration of the Bidimensional Self “, and look at the January 1-30th (2014) archives, there is a month of questions/responses with regards to “Personalizing the Infinite: Our Relationship with the Divine”. Questions 9 and 14 are particularly helpful with regards to the application of the exercise.

        Here are portions from the same month of question/answers that I find very useful as a reminder to myself:

        “Metacausal energy . . . is a purifying energy that is adapted to the inherent nature of our soul. . . .” (Spirituality is a Science, p. 31) One of the ways of capturing this energy is being attentive to the Source. “The more attention and proximity we have to God, the more we absorb His [metacausal] energy. Though we may not be aware of it ourselves, spiritually we have become a different person.” (Words of Truth, vol. 1, saying 1596) Among the other benefits of such energy is that it “keeps the soul lively, purifying it, increasing its radiance and, most importantly, preventing its negligence and ignorance.” (The Path of Perfection, p. 161) That is why “the more attentive we are to God, the lighter, stronger, and more luminous the soul becomes.” (Words of Truth, vol. 1, saying 710) “(http://www.ostadelahi-indepth.com/)

        “The id is the terrestrial soul or worker self, which has an animal nature and instinctually ensures the survival of the body. If the id is not controlled by our sound reason (for more information, refer to the explanations provided in Cycle 1), its excesses and deviations will transform its characteristics into divine and ethical weak points, whose activity generates the energy of the imperious self. This energy constitutes the primary obstacle to our process of perfection: if it is not neutralized by metacausal energy, not only will it halt our process of perfection, but it will also poison the soul over time. Note that the only energy that can neutralize the energy of the imperious self is metacausal energy. ”
        (http://www.ostadelahi-indepth.com/)

        So it appears to me that this would be a prerequisite for almost any battle against the imperious self.

    3. ed Jul 06, 2015 11:08 pm 12.3

      @particle
      From what I understand, any action needs to overcome a force in the opposite direction. If my action is toward more humanity, for sure I will have a strong pull towards the opposite (in my case it’s often a pull toward inaction).

      For example, I had planned for a while to visit elderly relatives but I’m always postponing. Here comes my mother about to leave who asks me to bring them fresh flowers she can’t take with her. Of course, this has to be done today. My first reaction was not of great excitement or gratitude for the opportunity. Yet I say: “yes, of course”. I’ve been working many years to just have these words coming out first. Still in my mind, I’m complaining.

      So now what do I do ? My “passive” and mendacious self argues “you have time, and don’t forget, you have your program first”. The day passes and finally “I make the decision” to leave. Upon arriving, it turns out that they were about to have dinner. I couldn’t imagine they were eating so early ! I’m greeted yet with complaints about the late hour.
      All ended up well, they were very happy to see me and so was I. I still had to apologize several times for arriving at such hour.

      …this imperious force of inertia !

      1. ed Jul 07, 2015 10:55 pm 12.3.1

        Let’s imagine a spiritual balance-sheet of that afternoon:

        In positive: has pleased his relatives without any expectation (e.g. money, gifts, etc…)
        In negative: has transgressed their rights (e.g. not to be disturbed at dinner time)

        What could I have done differently ?
        – Seize this request as an opportunity and even as a duty (a parent’s request here)
        – Put myself in their shoes (e.g. what is an appropriate time for them ?)

        In conclusion, I can say that thinking about my actions is very helpful. It refines my strategy for the next time.

  13. David Jun 26, 2015 12:46 pm 13

    Well, perhaps they cannot perceive your thoughts right now. You may want to have a look at chapter 18 “The Recording of Our Actions and Thoughts” in the Path of Perfection (2005). Based on what I understand from this, your approach seems very wise. 🙂

    1. Particle Jul 06, 2015 3:34 am 13.1

      @David. Thanks for the good reminder.

  14. Taylor Jul 23, 2015 11:23 pm 14

    In the described situation, the hostess did not agree with the rest of them, so it was a question of keeping silence or defending the person.
    What if you actually agree with everything said about someone? In that case, isn’t keeping silence the only way?

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