Abhyasa : Converters (Folks who try to convert you)

All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula

Of all the minds my manas has had the misfortune of interacting with it it is the “converters” that it has disliked the most.

The converters wanted me to become a Christian either by charming me with Santa Claus (this worked a little) or insulting my Sri Rama (this failed miserably).

  • They wanted me to call Hindusim as Sanatana Dharma and India as Bharata. (Call a rose by any other name…)
  • They wanted me to shape my eyebrows. (My eyebrows are pretty.)
  • They wanted me to do a job. (I don’t like the jobs I have already done and I don’t know how to get a different sort of one at the moment.)
  • They wanted me to change my cellphone. (I like my cellphone, the one I have).
  • They wanted me to change my thinking, my speech, my habits, my writings, my values, my ways, to their thinking, their speech, their habits, their writings, their values, their ways. (But I think you are an idiot, and look ugly, are trapped and not nice at all and I don’t want to be like you. You are giving me advice to make me like you because you imagine you are a success and I an idiot, but actually I think it is you who is the idiot. I am the cool one!)

I would love to look like Aishwarya Rai or Princess Diana, but I don’t think the shampoo/hair colour/soap.. that you or they are selling/recommending are going to make me look like them.

I would love to write like Nehru, be a lion-like Vivekananda and a saint like Gandhiji, sorry I don’t think your management classes will make me a leader of people and your corn flakes will make me a genius. I don’t think that saffron robes will make me Vivekananda.. just a silly looking imitator.

This leads to a few thoughts.

  1. Why do people try to convert others?
  2. How do you deal with those idiots?
  3. Am I in the danger of becoming an idiot who tries to convert people to my solutions, my way of thinking and living?

Dear Cousin,

Why do you want me to change my cellphone? It’s exactly what I wanted. You don’t like, its weight, its rate.. you don’t have any use for its features that I value like maps of land and sky… SO.. you don’t buy it. I can imagine it does not suit you.

I know you are hardworking and successful and helpful and principled. I respect you for it. But you think I am ignorant and don’t know my mind and my options and what’s good for me.

Why do people try to convert others?

Ah “a converter” thinks he “knows better”, what you want and what you ought to want.

He thinks he know better, because

  • he is successful in worldly dealings, which “proves” he is a winner and therefore smart.
  • he really likes his choices, they make him very happy.
  • God told him personally, or through a messiah
  • he read a book or heard a speech that he really likes
  • he cares deeply about whatever cause he is espousing
  • he really wants that soul of yours or control of your mind or body or any material resources at your disposal.
How do you deal with those idiots?

This is tough. Remember that when the bloke is not trying to be an annoying converter/advisor.. he is often a good friend and nice person. There are areas in which he is actually smart and knowledgeable and helpful and dependable. Some people can be distracted or tuned out.. some have to be shown the door or physically thrown out. If you are young and have lots of time, draw them into a long conversation and encourage them to talk themselves out. Take a book out, make notes, take photographs with your cellphone, be so earnest that they are terrified of running into a greater loony than themselves. If you are old and have less time, smile wisely into the distance like you are laughing at a private joke and the young ‘un is making a donkey of himself in ways only you can see.

But basically recognise that you are dealing with an idiot and don’t “listen”.

Am I in the danger of becoming an idiot who tries to convert people to my solutions, my way of thinking and living?

This is very tricky. Before you utter one word of advice to another manas, STOP! Do not proceed!

Remember,

  • you do NOT know better than them.
  • you do NOT know what they want or ought to want.
  • you do NOT know their situation or their abilities or disabilities.
  • if they wanted advice, they would have ASKED you for it.

If like Arjuna they approach you and beg for knowledge, and accept you as the teacher and beg to be taught, and IF you are like Krishna and you have answers then and only then open your mouth.

In my personal case you want to take a look at my online notebook,, knock yourself out. You don’t? Thank you, that’s a relief. I feel happy that so many people visit my web-blog, from so many places. I am glad that google helps people find my blog. I am happy that some of those people feel my writings help them. But if I write, it is first and foremost for myself, because I like writing. Because I like what I write. Because only I can convert myself to new ideas.

Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula

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