Sometimes the simplest of things, words or examples can influence or change one's way of thinking. I went through such an experience recently. On a visit to the Chinmaya Mission in Delhi, I happened to step into the book shop and picked up the tiniest of all the books, titled 'Geeta in Daily Life' written by Swami Tejomayananda.
That was a book that changed my outlook. And one big lesson I took away from this tiny book is that gyan (knowledge) is not limited to reading and assimilating bulky tomes; all you have to do is open your mind to things around you and apply the knowledge in your daily life. The Swami quotes from the Geeta about how we need equanimity (samabuddhi) to live with people.
The Swami saw a poster in someone's house saying, "Accept me as I am, do not try to change me." We all want to be accepted by everyone as we are, but we are unable to accept others as they are! He quotes an incident in the life of Socrates whose wife was very short tempered and never understood his greatness. One day, when he was in the midst of a serious philosophical discussion with a group of people, she rushed in, abused him in a terrible manner and finally bought a bucket of water and poured it over him! He remained quiet and calm.
When someone asked him why he did not protest or scold his wife, he smiled and said, "It is nature's law that thunder is followed by a shower." He knew her nature and also knew that she did not understand. He simply accepted her as she was and learnt to put up with her.
And he says, "In our relationship with people, equanimity means acceptance of all. With respect to experiences, it means maintaining our balance of mind. With respect to objects, it means looking at things as they are, understanding their value and dealing with them accordingly".
What a world we would have only if we all understand and act on these ideas.