For example, somebody came to me – a husband, a father of five children – and he said that he was very much disturbed because his wife goes on quarreling, tries to dominate him and the children don’t listen to him. “Their mother has become too influential and the children listen to her, they don’t listen to me. I am nobody and I am in much anguish. Do something for me. Through your grace let my wife become a little more understanding.”
I said, “That’s impossible. Through my grace or through anybody’s grace, the other cannot be made more understanding. You can be. And when you ask for the other’s understanding you miss the whole point. Why does the wife look dominating? She looks dominating because you are also struggling for domination. If you are not struggling for domination she will not look dominating. It is a struggle, because you are after the same goal. And what is wrong if the children follow the mother? But you would like the children to follow you, hence the struggle.”
Try to understand! Everybody is trying to dominate. That is the nature of the ego, to make every effort to dominate the other. Whether the other is husband, wife, or children or friends, makes no difference – but to dominate, to find ways and means to dominate.
And if everybody is trying to dominate and you are also trying to dominate, there will be struggle. The struggle is not because others are trying to dominate, the struggle is because you are not trying to understand how the ego functions.
Drop out of it! The others cannot be changed, and you will be unnecessarily wasting your life if you try to change the others. That is their problem. They will suffer if they are not understanding, why should you suffer? Simply understand that everybody is trying to dominate. “I drop out of it, I will not try to dominate.” Your struggle disappears. And a very beautiful thing happens.
If you don’t try to dominate, the wife starts feeling foolish, and by and by she starts looking silly to herself – because the other is no longer there to fight. When you fight you strengthen the other’s ego, and this is a vicious circle.
When you don’t fight then the other feels he is fighting alone, in a vacuum: fighting with the wind or fighting with a ghost, but not fighting with anybody. And then you give an opportunity for the other also to see, to understand. Then the wife cannot throw the responsibility on you, she has to carry her own responsibility.
The same is the problem with everybody because human nature functions similarly, more or less; the differences are only of degrees. If you try to understand, you become a dropout. Not that you drop out of the society, not that you become a hippie and go and make a commune – that is not the point. Psychologically you are no longer in these trips of the ego; domination, aggression, violence, anger. You are no longer part of it. And then a distance is created, a detachedness. Now you can look at things and you can laugh. How foolish man is! And you can laugh. How ridiculous you have always been!