Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Retort Doesn't Pay!

Is it better to let go or retort when you clearly are aware of the fact that someone is ignorant and is criticizing your very existence just for the sake of fun??

I truly agree that Retorting does not reflect wisdom in any way. But who is to educate that ignorant person that he or she is wrong? It would be better to stay calm and then try to explain to them the situation of how offended you are and how it is wrong for them to criticize without caring.If they still do not care then, it is not up to us to correct them. We should let them learn it themselves because whatever we give, good or bad, comes back to us - no matter what!

I came across this article when I had the above question in my mind...

"An incident at a public meeting taught me a lesson of self-control That was thirty years ago. I was addressing an elite gathering on "Atheism". The prejudice against atheism was still high.

As usual I greeted the audience with a salutation at the start of the talk. Then at the e question time, a gentleman asked me in an excited mood, why I greeted the audience at the start of the meeting. I answered that it was out of courtesy and that the greeting would announce the start of the meeting. Evidently the gentleman wanted a plea to mock at atheism. So at once he remarked that, as an atheist, I could change the form of greeting from salutation to a slap on the face of anyone whom I wanted to greet. The suggestion was clearly absurd. I should have left it there. Instead, I retorted that the method of slap could be adopted, provided one was prepared to receive a slap in return of the greeting. The audience enjoyed the joke with a loud laughter. The gentleman was fooled and he left the hall.

The matter did not end there. When the meeting dispersed, a group of friends of the gentleman gathered round me and accused me of humiliating their friend. They admitted that the remark of their friend regarding the slap was foolish indeed. But as an advocate of a cause, I should have shown a better sense of forbearance and humour than giving a retort. Obviously they were displeased with me.

I reflected on the incident and I have learnt that I made a mistake in retorting and thereby losing the sympathy of that gentleman and of his friends. Anyone, especially a public worker, ought to keep cool in the face of provocation. Otherwise he loses sympathy for the cause for which he stands. Retorts exhibit wit but not wisdom."


No comments: