In a fast paced world, full of complexities and ironies what do you think is appropriate – a Response or a Reaction! Well hold your horses before you jump to conclusions and shower us with your explanations.

Before we even embark on this journey of right or wrong and good or bad, let me share an incident with you. Two gentlemen on their way back home after a long, harassing day at work, evading the never-ending traffic met with an accident. As soon as they regained their senses and could gather themselves, they checked each other’s physical well-being and whether the other needed any help. Once sure about the situation being under control they inspected the damage to their respective vehicles and parted ways with mutual apologies, well wishes and on healthy terms.

On the other hand what the bystanders and onlookers expected was a barrage of abuses hurled at each other and some blows exchanged to further glorify the matter. But in the absence of any such creative misadventures even they lost interest too soon.

Being an observer to the this sad yet beautiful sight, a thought sparked through my mind. Reaction or Response!


I can share my point of view, which for sure is open to discussion and scrutiny because it’s a free world, but I’ll try to stay neutral for its important for each of us to develop our own judgement. Adrenalin, hormones and extreme emotions are what we encounter regularly and in abundance due to our fast paced lifestyle and ever-increasing stress and anxiety levels. In context to these it becomes all the more important to understand the terms at least.

REACTION – An act executed without much thought or consideration of consequences.


RESPONSE – A well thought of and weighed reciprocation devoid of emotional or any other bias.


Argumentatively both can be justified as per the situation but a calculative and balanced approach will always favor the latter.

Referring back to the incident, had they decided to react brazenly without much thought or consideration about the outcome of their actions, I am sure a lot would have been lost apart from the physical damage to the machines. What seems easy and convenient is always harmful to the extent of irreversible damage.

The question remains, Reaction or Response ? From a personal perspective I have seen greater good happening when people consciously chose to respond than reacting, attributing to their reflexes. I strongly agree to the fact as well that it is easier said than done hence, I hereby share a simple rule with you all that I practice to be able to achieve my goal to some extent if not in its entirety.


Whenever you find yourself in a situation of extreme emotional and physical duress which entices you to react take a step back and look around. Think of the last time you were with your family and their smiling faces. Then decide whether all this hassle you intend to go through would be worth sacrificing it all. And believe me or not, you would never regret that moment of self-realization and the enormous power within you which can help stay healthy and happy despite of so many reactions flying around πŸ˜› !

Till then keep SMILING and LIVE some more while you can, for there’ll be plenty of time to drag on πŸ™‚ !

Stay tuned for more interesting and thought-provoking posts.

Published by OneLife

I am a nomad at heart who craves for journeys and experiences. Life is too short to stop exploring and the quest to be happy should go on.

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  1. Very thoughtful post, I liked how you differentiated between the reaction and response. It is a coincidence that memory popped up on my FB on the same lines today morning. In anger, we react and lose some precious relationships and later what remains is only regret.

    1. I can relate to your thoughts Vartika and glad that my post resonated with you. Once again thanks for showering so much love πŸ™‚ .

  2. You’ve made an interesting distinction here. I personally wouldn’t club these two actions as opposing each other. One can have well-reasoned reactions and well-reasoned responses to situations; and of course reactions and responses can both be hasty and adverse as well. However, I like your usage of these terms to explain a very valid and important point- we must not act in haste, for our own well-being.

    1. I would not disagree with you totally for sometimes situational exceptions do exist and are justifiable too. On the contrary it’s more convenient and easy to adopt to reaction than try and be responsive.

  3. A very well presented and thoughtful post. I prefer a response but I feel reaction is spontaneous and not a conscious decision which we might regret later. Whereas if we chose to respond, chances are we understand the problem and come out with a win-win solution.

    1. Reaction is indeed spontaneous but like all other constraints and skills. it needs a lot of practice. Thank you for sharing your views πŸ™‚ .

  4. Yes reaction is instantaneous and many a time we may not control. Response may be well thought out, but we may not have ability to respond adequately. At least, at the time of reaction we may be justified as heat of the moment. A response will be considered cold and calculated murder.

    1. Response is never cold and calculated sir for that is vengeance. Response is actually a delayed reaction which has lost the steam, hence mostly harmless. Still the argument has many perspectives.

  5. This is so thought provoking and coming back to the incident …….it’s so hard to believe people like them still exist in our city where road rage is more common than not

    1. Hote hain kuch sensible well cultured log bhi. It’s really important to reinforce these concepts at the grassroot levels.

  6. I try not to react. But the funniest bit is you land up responding to strangers and reacting to your own people. I think so. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    1. You are absolutely correct and it is indeed funny. It can purely be attributed to taking what is yours for granted πŸ˜› .

  7. I loved the graphical depiction of how response is a much better way to deal with the situation. I have already noted the four steps to avoid reaction and respond suggested by you. The example you shared is really cool. I wish there were more stories like this to exemplify a considerate human race.

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