Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Alphabet Quotes: R is for Relationships

"Then clasp my hand with closer hold. True hearts are never unconsoled. They fear not care, nor cloud, nor cold. And smile at growing old."
— Elizabeth Chase Akers Allen, American poet and journalist

"I mean, if the relationship can't survive the long term, why on earth would it be worth my time and energy for the short term?"
— Nicholas Sparks, The Last Song

"Today we are faced with the preeminent fact that, if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships...the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world, at peace."
— Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Science may have found a cure for most evils: but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all — the apathy of human beings."
— Helen Keller

"Truth is, I'll never know all there is to know about you just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism and a great deal of candour."
— Tom Hanks

Think carefully, speak wisely

Thinking too much about everything we see, hear and experience often results in our overreaction to problems which are sometimes imaginary. It gets us nowhere and leaves us fretting and fuming for no reason. Overthinking drains our mental and physical capacity to deal with situations and make sound decisions and proper judgements. It tempers our power of reasoning. Just as we look before we leap, we need to think before we speak. When we think too much, we are more likely to say something insignificant or hurtful or say things that should best have been left unsaid.

Renowned spiritual teacher and founder of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation Eknath Easwaran compares our continuous stream of thoughts to bumper-to-bumper traffic. He says, "We can learn not to let one thought tailgate another. Tailgating thoughts are a danger signal. People who are prone to anger—or to fear, or greed, or hostility—allow no distance between one thought and another, between one emotional reaction and the next. Their anger seems continuous—just one anger car after another, bumping into each other on a fast, crowded highway."

Slowing down in thought and word, as Easwaran advises, helps us say the right thing at the right time, and in a measured tone. When we think less, we speak less, and when we speak less, we become more sensitive and receptive to others. We also learn to listen more. It allows us to channel our thoughts into meaningful words and actions, and build harmonious relations with people we interact with.

Takeaway: A mind in overdrive is an accident waiting to happen.