Thought for the Day

Friday 14 February

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.

— William Shakespeare

Eknath Easwaran's Commentary

Many of the disruptions that take place in personal relationships can be prevented by learning to control our attention, for attention is closely linked with loyalty.

I can illustrate with that most fascinating of relationships, the romantic. Suppose Romeo and Juliet had turned out differently, and the two lovers had married and settled down to a normal domestic life. After a few years, as sometimes happens, Romeo’s attention gets restless. Once the sight of Juliet made him think of flowers and bubbling brooks and the “light, sweet airs of spring”; now she reminds him of the laundry and his morning espresso. After a while, his attention falls on Rosaline, his old flame. Now she reminds him of flowers and brooks; his attention seizes her and will not let go.

Today, Romeo would most likely receive the advice, “Follow your desires. That is where happiness will be.” But that is just where unhappiness will be. If Romeo’s attention cannot stay with Juliet, how is it going to stay with Rosaline? If he cannot get control over his attention, happiness can only recede farther and farther.

The Thought for the Day is today's entry from Eknath Easwaran's Words to Live By.