I sure hope you're alright cause you don't sound like you are....

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When my niece was 14 years old (she's a much more mature 15 now :) we got into an argument about something she was doing that was bothering me.
I told her so, and I really was not as nice about it as I usually am, since it involved something that was very important to me, and I wanted to be firm.
So, of course she was really upset, because she had never heard me talk that way to her (or anyone else).
So, she said to me:

"I sure hope you're alright cause you don't sound like you are!"

Well, over time it became somewhat of a joke between my husband and I, and now, whenever one of us thinks the other one is "off" is some way, we say to this to each other.... "I sure hope you're alright cause you don't sound like you are".... (lol) It's become a nice way of telling the other person we think they are having a "problem" and we both laugh about it instead of arguing.
Anyway, I was thinking about this today, and how this is one of the things that is so important about devotee association, this "check and balance" system of letting each other know when we feel they are having some problem.
I'm not in any way advocating paying constant attention to the weaknesses of others here, only paying attention to things that you might be able to help with.
We all need each other to help us with the various issues we face, and keep us on track, and focused on the goal of becoming Krishna conscious.
We all are being attacked constantly by the material energy, and it takes this kind of devotee association, to give us a perspective outside of our own false ego, and our own concepts about things.
Of course it takes a degree of honesty and willingness to look at our problems, and willingness to listen to the advice of others, and then make changes, for this to be of any benefit.
That's not always easy. When we do it though, we can more smoothly progress on the path of Krishna consciousness.
It's just one of the many benefits of having devotee association.

(my niece was of course wrong in thinking I had a problem, it was really her that had a problem ;) (lol) .... but that's okay, maybe someday she will become a devotee and then she can also tell me what's wrong with me) ;)

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Comments
Fri, 04/11/2008 - 19:00 — bhaktingeri-lynn
bhaktingeri-lynn's picture
great job!

I am so glad you hit on this topic. I really love this post! It is really important to make sure we are helping to keep that person on track, instead of making things worse.

Hare Krsna,
Bhaktin Geri-Lynn

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Sat, 04/12/2008 - 06:41 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Helping

Yep, you're right Geri-lynn... there is helping, and there is making things worse, as you said.

I think it is helpful to examine our motives before we say anything. Sometimes we are not motivated by a desire to help, but rather just for the sake of "correcting" something that irritates us or bothers us.

I like to think to myself before saying anything "is this Really important, or not?".

There is certainly such a thing as being "too helpful" if you know what I mean. ;)

Thank you for your nice comment.

Navasi

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Thu, 04/10/2008 - 22:46 — vrdas
vrdas's picture
Sweet Blog Mata-ji!

Dear Navasi,

I enjoy reading your blog very much.
thanks for sharing... it puts a smile on my face.

Keep up the good work!

y/s
vrdas.

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Fri, 04/11/2008 - 05:54 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Thank You : )

Thank you very much for expressing your appreciation of my blog, Vrdas...

It's funny writing a blog here, I never really know who I might be "reaching" or who might be appreciating it or benefiting. So, it's especially encouraging to me to hear that you like what I am writing.

It keeps me inspired to continue when I read posts like this one of yours! :)

So, thank you for taking the time to let me know! :)

y/s
Navasi

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Thu, 04/10/2008 - 07:59 — Aruna Locana
Aruna Locana's picture
Good Topic !!

Dear Navasi ,

Who are we without devotees association? For sure all of us want to be complimented all the time and see we are doing right . And its not good when we listen to someone saying we are not right . If we have some advancement , we will see it as Krsna ´s mercy tru his devotee and accept , otherwise we may commit offense . What maybe the right way for not having this problem is the way its spoken , so the other person may not feel bad and an argument wont start. For that we must have common sense and also avoid any kind of offense , one way of practsing it is forgiveness , its said in the SB.9.15.40 that the duty of a brahmana is to culture this quality . This is what I learned this week and I am trying to share with you .
dandavats dear ,
your servant
Aruna

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Thu, 04/10/2008 - 13:04 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Friends

Dear Aruna,
Thank you for sharing this information. You've made some very good points there.

I also think this is one of the reasons why it's really important to cultivate very good close friendships with devotees. A friend can tell you things that someone else cannot tell you, because you know that person has your best interest at heart.

I know for myself, the closer someone is to me as a friend, the more things they can tell me of a "difficult to accept" nature. I am so much more able to really look at what they are saying and see how it could be true, than someone who I don't know, or who is not my friend.

So, good, close friendships with devotees are very important I think....

Thanks again for your nice comment. : )

Navasi