The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Question: Dear Acharya Ji, pranam! Since the last few days, I have been sharing my learnings with my parents. Every time I discuss something with them, I have to deliberately attack their conditioned mind to make them aware of their conditioning. I feel sorry for them, and I find myself being cruel sometimes. Acharya Ji, how to get rid of the sense of cruelty and proceed further?
Acharya Prashant (AP): Yes, you obviously do feel that there is cruelty involved in this. The other fellow is happily living in his cocoon, in his bubble. And you, being driven by love, or empathy, or just the missionary spirit, want to puncture the bubble. This does involve inflicting a certain pain on the other; there is no doubt about it.
Do it as much as you can. When you can’t take it anymore, then call it a day! Stop the sermon, hug them, treat them with some sweets, and say, “No! No! No! All that I have said so far was all junk. Let’s talk of cute kittens and nice sweets, and what’s happening in the daily soaps.”
Comfort them. If they are still not comforted, as we said, search for the trending cat videos on YouTube. They are great to watch with family — dog chasing a cat, cat chasing a rat, cute kittens, baby monkeys. That’s what you call as ‘Happy-family-time’. Everybody feels glad. Must be raining these days. Have some ‘pakoras’ (Vegetable fritters) some chai of good desi milk. Everybody likes it.
(Pointing at one of the listeners sitting in the audience) See, now he is smiling. Just five minutes back he was about to die! He has sensed that if the tea can be milk tea, then the ‘pakoras’ are surely coming from Desi ghee (clarified butter). Desi ghee is wonderful! He has been asking to go home since long; he’s missing that.
That’s the way things stand. If I knew how to deal with them, I would have already disappeared by now. You have to inflict regulated pain. You have to melt the other’s conditioning, but with discretion. There is an obvious contradiction contained in trying to spiritually uplift your near ones.