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Philosophy of restraint

Restraint helps avoid an unpleasant situation whereas acting on impulse usually brings repentance.

india Updated: Jun 15, 2006 12:04 IST

As we scan the daily newspapers it becomes evident that there is no dip in the crime graph. As a society, we obviously lack discipline, ethics and morality.

Restraint, therefore, acquires supreme importance. For instance, if all those who indulge in road rage show some respect for road rules, things would not come to such a sorry pass. Restraint not only in gestures but also in words acts as a balm on the person standing before us.

Expressing regret to the aggrieved party after raging may have some positive effect, but the damage done leaves a permanent scar on the psyche of everyone affected.

To develop the habit of acting with restraint, one has to undergo a long practice —in controlling one's mind, spending time in the company of saints or well meaning people, suppressing the ego, attending discourses and practicing meditation and sometimes even swallowing insults.

Restraint helps avoid an unpleasant situation whereas acting on impulse usually brings repentance. Whenever there is a dispute over an issue, one should offer arguments based on premises with which virtually everyone could agree, regardless of caste or religion.

The state should also act with restraint rather then use force to quell those opposed to it. Though it's essential to instill the fear of punishment in the mind of the wrongdoer, the ultimate goal is to reform him through acts of love and sympathy. Punishment could well be a deterrent though it does not necessarily brings down the crime rate. See how much crime is increasing in society today regardless of our voluminous law books. However, the practice of restraint should be inculcated at the school level itself so that a child can squarely face all kinds of odds with equanimity and restrain himself from crime.