Have you wished you could keep quiet in a situation which does warrant you/ make you itch to offer your take ? Are there times when you know things will work out on their own without your interference ? Surely there are are moments in your life, when you know this is what is to be done and offer advice, only to find it was not taken or that people did what they planned to do anyway? Let me give a few examples from my life:
- Daughter 2, who is home with me now, preparing for her college exams, told me her Physics teacher is leaving tomorrow for his native country. Without his coaching during these last few days before her exam will turn her preparation upside down, for she hadn’t factored in, his leaving in the middle of the year. She has to come up with plan B, which she hasn’t. She shared her concern with me Thursday( two days back). My first reaction was to plan on calling the teacher and asking, no begging him to postpone his going back for a month or so, until daughter was better prepared for said exam( her exams are scheduled for the first week of May). Deep down, I knew I shouldn’t get involved- I would only bungle things up. So I held on, with great difficulty. I had to bite my tongue( that is, hold my fingers back from typing a Whatsapp message to the teacher). I held back till today morning, when in a very soft manner, sent him a message, asking him if he was leaving and he replies- Ma’am I am still here and I will be here still. What a relief ! But imagine if I had called him up and asked him about his plans and the drama that would have unfolded. Thank God I held on against my better feelings. See, things do work out in the end.
- Daughter 1, who is home at another coaching place, called me up this morning telling me she came down to the common mess to find another girl eating from her plate. The plate in question is kept on the mess counter with her name marked on it, so it is only for her use. Apparently, the girl in question took the plate and served herself breakfast on it and when daughter 1 reached the mess, the girl was already eating on the plate. Let me add that my daughter is a vegetarian and cannot ever eat on a plate where meat or fish has been eaten. It is an obsession with her. So when she saw this happen in front of her eyes, she questioned the girl. The girl replied that since her name was not written on it, she ate on the plate. The audacity ! The cheek ! Daughter 1 called me, sobbing and crying aloud. She is 24. She was offended. I was actually amused by the whole episode but made sympathetic noises at the proper times to show daughter 1 that I was empathetic but she had to deal with the issue herself. I was amazed at how I had changed over the years. A younger me would have taken the phone, called up the hostel and make a ruckus over someone hurting my daughters’ feelings. Today, I didn’t do anything of the sort. I maintained a silence and did not share this with my husband or my other daughter who can easily raise up the drama quotient by rising up in arms. It turns out this was the best way. A few hours later, when I checked on daughter 1, she seemed to be busy putting in her application to a new college and forgotten the episode. I was left back in time, while she advanced to the next event in her life.
I can write many tales of this sort from my life about when it was wiser and less-adrenaline secreting for all concerned when I didn’t open my mouth. I thought of Jesus drawing on the ground with a stick when people were accusing the woman brought in adultery to him and maintaining a dignified silence. There is dignity in silence. You can empathize with a person even through silence. If fewer words are spoken, lesser, unproductive emotions come out and life becomes a lot easier because after all things turn out the way they were destined to turn out, in the end.