I am asked this question a lot. But it’s not a question of toleration. If you tolerate, you will go crazy. You need not have to tolerate; you can only do what you can do about it. You cannot reverse what has happened.
The culprit is also the victim because in many ways he is degrading himself. The worst thing that any human being can do to himself is to degrade himself like an animal, which for some reason he is doing. Though it may give him some pleasure or joy or power or something at that moment, still, in many ways, it is a tragedy for him as well.So it is not that one is a victim and the other an assailant. Both are victims. Many things like this are happening in the society; it is not just an individual act; it is a complex process of many things that are happening. So should you allow it to happen? No, you do whatever you can do to see that those things don’t happen.
What you can do, you do, but you cannot change all of it. It doesn’t matter what kind of a person you become; even if you become a super-human being, you will never have absolute control over the external world. Whether it is your institution or your family or the world, you will never have total control over the external situation. But you can have total control over the internal situation. This is always possible.Now, the external has gone out of control, for some reason, people are killing, people are raping, people are doing all kinds of ugly things in the world. So, because the external has gone out of control, does it mean you should allow the internal to also go out of control? If your external situations are going out of control, is it not important to at least you keep your interiority in control?Now that man has gone insane; he is into that kind of act. If you are also going insane with anger and hatred for that man, what is the difference? He raped, so you want to kill. What is the difference? That does not mean you should not do something about the situation. What you have to do, you do. But when you do it with anger and hatred, it is of no value—whatever you do.
Now you think that you can change the world, or you have the capacity to move yourself only with anger. Why? Why can’t you move with love? Why can’t you move with compassion? Why can’t you move out of your intelligence as to what is needed around you? Okay, not even out of love; at least out of your intelligence you do what is needed for the society around you. The most beautiful things will happen when your actions spring from your intelligence and not from your anger.How you respond depends on what kind of situation you are in, who you are, what your capabilities are, what means you have to do that sort of a thing. You cannot respond in the same way in every situation. If you have the power and the means to do something effectively, you can respond in one way. If you do not have the power and the means to respond at that moment, maybe your response is to keep quiet at that moment and see what can be done later. But this is not done in vengeance or revenge.
You don’t want this to happen, either to the victim or to the assailant. Both are in some way being degraded in their life. One is doing it to himself, another is being subjected to that by somebody. You don’t want this to happen to either of them, not just one. Only then you can say that you are functioning from your love.Otherwise, you are functioning only from your identity as a woman or man, which will not create a healthy world. Since people always act from their identity of belonging to a certain group, or religion, or race, or country, or sex, all this misery has happened. If you act without identity, you just function out of your intelligence and see whether you want this or not.
How you respond depends on what means you have. All of us cannot respond in the same way to a given situation. It depends on what means we have in our hands at that moment. If you get into wild reactions out of your emotions, you will not bring any justice. You will not bring any well-being to the world. You will just counter one evil with another. That is definitely not a solution. Only when you act without identifications, and function out of your intelligence, can there be a solution to this.
~ Deepak Chopra, author