Recently I was reading a news article on how a Bollywood actor got into a brawl and then his girl friend defended it as “he was provoked”. India’s newspaper are filled everyday with stories of how what someone said “hurt the religious sentiments” of a community or a group of people. Politicians stating that their supporters acted unilaterally because “they were hurt” and justify mass scale riots and disrespect for law and order.
So what’s the deal with provocation? Are we really so helpless to be offended at the littlest things? Are we so offended by words said by someone? Is our faith that shallow in what we believe that was apparently maligned?
The social level of drama of provocation aside, let’s focus on the issue of provocation at personal level. The simplest way to look at ‘provocation’ is – the easier it is for someone to provoke us, the easier it is for them to “play us a puppet” – I mean we become a remote control appliance which acts quite predictably when someone presses a particular “button” of ours.
Justifying our actions based on others provocation is one of the most dis-empowering thing we can do to ourselves. Making a habit of it reduces our personal power over time. After all, its not our fault or in our control – what could I do.
How easily do you get provoked into “not being yourself”? What are the ways you can take control of your life and your response-ability to life’s situations? Start small – and consistency build your personal power – take the batteries out of the remote control that people / circumstances use to make you jump.