Hazrat Inayat: What to Do with Others?

The question naturally arises, “Then what are we to do with those in life who act differently from how we expect them to act toward us?” And the answer is, “To leave them alone.” People take unnecessary trouble, which could just as well be avoided. Worry about another person’s action is unnecessary. Everyone has his own worry about himself, and his own action is quite enough for him. When should he have time to worry about others? Every person has his own life before him, and the answer to his own action. If he is hot, cold, good, bad, foolish, wise, he has to answer to that. And suppose we love him? We love him, but why force upon him to act as we do? In the first place, no-one is ideal, so as [to be able] to say: “Everyone should act as we do.” As we take freedom ourselves to act as we like, so we should give freedom to another to act as he likes. And the only way of living happily in the world is to leave another alone. If he is kind, “Thank you.” If he is not kind, “Thank you.” Instead of giving him punishment, let him go a step forward and get the punishment of his action. Those walking in the spiritual path must not trouble about others. A lifelong time is not sufficient if we are to bother about others. Every moment of life is too precious to waste on bothering about others. Another thing is that every person has a nature peculiar to himself, every person has an object, a purpose different from that of others, the conduct of every person’s life is different. And when one thinks, “Everybody in the world should speak, act, think and feel as I want them to do,” he must try to become God. [But] even God would let everybody alone and free to do as they want.

And suppose if it happened that everyone in life acted as we want them to do, would life be perfect? No. We are not always satisfied with our own action, often we ourselves can not call ourselves our ideal. Do we satisfy ourselves by our action, thought and speech? Then what right have we to blame another person if he does not act as we wish him to? However dear and near that person may be to you, he is a separate individual, he has his separate individuality, he has his own ideas. In some ideas he may be with you, but in other ideas he may differ. Without difference life can not exist. Suppose we all had the same face and form, we should not be able to recognise each other, life would not be interesting. And suppose the whole humanity were good, as good as we can picture it to be, the world would be the most wretched place to live in. Man would be so tired of goodness that every soul would hunger and thirst for badness. There is no better principle than to leave everyone alone, not to force our sympathy upon another to such an extent that he must change his individuality. The best way of expressing our love is to leave one alone to choose his way in life.

Yes, if we wish that the others should yield to our wish and act as we wish them to act, then the best way is to reverse that desire, to practise that oneself toward others, instead of expecting that from others. It is not said in the Bible, “Ask another to walk with you two miles if he be only willing to walk with you one mile;” it is said otherwise. By wanting others to act as one wishes, one attracts disappointments and unhappiness in life; one becomes weak, dependent, sorehearted, for human nature will always disappoint. But the one who is ready to answer others’ wishes, regardless of others returning the same, he becomes strong, independent and master of life.  He becomes an example; he need not force others, they most willingly yield to him.

3 Replies to “Hazrat Inayat: What to Do with Others?”

  1. Juan Amin Betancur

    Muchas gracias querido maestro Nawab por esta enseñanza tan oportuna de nuestro Murshid. La vida nos prueba todos los días con esto. A veces avanzamos dos pasos y retrocedemos uno, y a veces al revés. Este camino nos ofrece el trabajo diario con nosotros mismos para que ojalá el balance sea favorable, y no nos lamentemos al ver cada vez más lejos nuestro ideal a medida que pasan los años. Gracias otra vez por las muy oportunas enseñanzas de maestros de varias tradiciones y por las tuyas, que son tan claras y didácticas.

  2. Huma

    The more i know myself the further i seem to be from the Ideal . What a fool i am ! And yet inside the oyster there is a perl.These teachings come from inside de pearl.They are mirrors.And a home to go back to. This wondering through life , this gaining and loosing, this constant change.They say oysters are the “basureros” of the ocean… Who would ever imagine that from garbage could grow such beauty…. Ohh God Bless you Murshid Nawab, for helping us in cracking open that hard shell…

  3. Shamsher van Hees

    Really beautiful words dear Nawab. They are so true and so very useful in daily life. I am inclined to react to soon towards others, but you make me think to ponder first about how to react. Many thanks for this lesson.


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