Hyderabad, Monday, 26 September 2022 , It all comes down to mindset.
Let me tell you a story.
Anton Chekov was born in 1860 into the family of Pavel Yegorovich. He was the third of six surviving children. Anton's father was an orthodox Christian who led the choir at church. He appeared to be a completely devoted man to those who met him in public. Yet, in private, he was an abuser. He beat his wife and children recklessly. He beats them for no reason. One time he beat Anton and told him he was beating him so he would not commit any future crimes. His father was a hot-tempered man who was often impulsive.
Sometime during his teenage years, his father became bankrupt for engaging in a foolish business deal. The whole family became very poor; they sold their home and moved to another city, Moscow, for cheaper accommodation. In Moscow, they lived in abject poverty. While all the family moved to Moscow, Anton had to stay in Taganrog so he could finish school. He managed to get tuition by conducting home lessons.
It was during this time that Anton began to visit the library. He read widely. That's when it began to happen. His readings began to introduce him to different characters, different people, different histories, different cultures, and different episodes in human development. He loved the world he was discovering. He spent more and more time reading than doing anything. Soon, he began analyzing his father through the lenses of the books he read. He began to understand his father. He connected that his father was also born into an abusive family; all he had done to them was just a continuation of what he had experienced. Shortly after that, he forgave his father and even loved him. He no longer felt haunted by the pain of his past. In fact, Anton was once quoted as saying Love is the driving force of his life. This man who had experienced abuse had become a lover. He realized that he could continue to be like his father or change for the better, so he chose the latter.
His readings also helped him develop many skills, from financials to social skills. Soon, he was thriving in everything he did. He even began sending money and letters to his family in Moscow.
In a few years, he graduated and joined his family in Moscow. On getting there, he realized they lived in a cramped space in a chaotic home in which his father was still the same sort of person—draconian, insulting, abusive, and continually putting the family in trouble. Soon, Anton took over the family. Through his actions, he brought in much-needed coordination. He worked hard and got the family another home—a bigger one. Gradually, stability began to restore in the family. He supported his siblings in going to school. He stood firm and made his father change. At last, the whole family is transformed by Anton.
But there was one problem, Anton's brother, Pavel, was becoming exactly the sort of man their father was. He abused his wife, insulted the family members, drank alcohol, and was suicidal.
He was the most challenging problem Anton had to deal with. One day the brother returned home drunk and began destroying things; Anton stood up to him and warned him that it was the last time he would ever do that. Indeed, it was. He once wrote to his brother, "Let me ask you to recall that it was despotism and lying that ruined your mother's youth. Despotism and lying so mutilated our childhood that it's sickening and frightening to think about it. Remember the horror and disgust we felt in those times when Father threw a tantrum at dinner over too much salt in the soup and called Mother a fool." Anton invoked their childhood experience to warn his brother not to be the same type of man.
Gradually, he, too, changed.
Now, this is where I was heading to.
One family, two children. One became an abuser; the other grew to become a lover.
What made the difference? Mindset.
Take care of your mindset.