The Art of Responding

Aritra Das Sarma

It's significant for human beings to understand the basic difference between what is responding and what is reacting. Not much has been written about it, not much has been explored in other mediums as well. Only Mystics, Yogis ,Monks have talked about it at times. For ordinary human beings it's difficult even to understand if we are reacting or responding. Our untrained minds in the default mode knows only to react or not to react. And even non -reactions are a type of reactions where we choose silence over words. Then what does it mean really to respond. How can one understand if one's reacting or responding. Let's dig delve into the dictionary meaning of the words to have a clearer perspective. The word "React" means in simple terms to act again.Very much like Newton's 3rd law of motion...there's an external trigger,and you retaliate. Whereas Responding means to give the best possible reply to the situation. When we are in a responsive mode, We think the problems of life as questions Try to seek an answer to it; But when we are in a reactive mode Even mere questions become problems to us We try to attack everything and everyone in the same spirit . It leads to dismantling of personal relationships, disintegration of social equations and even fragmentation of our own self . It's important for us to learn the art of responding and instead of reacting ...practise responding. Now the last question comes how to learn the art ? Does being responsive means we become only defensive and forget to attack? We must attack if attacking is the response We must defend if defending is the response Our decisions are not our involuntary muscular contractions...they can't be our reflex actions. We must take decisions consciously.And choose wisely . We must reply not retaliate. Instead of mastering the art of throwing a quiver of questions , we must learn to seek answers if we really want to know!