The Difference between “Never

Give Up” and “Grasping”

Helen writes: At the moment I
am pondering the difference
between “never give up” and
“grasping”. Perhaps you can help
me.

Lama Surya Das: This is a juicy
subject, well worth pondering.
Holding on too long is one
problem, for sure; on the other
hand, letting go too soon and too
easily is another extreme
(unbalance) or mistake.

Firstly, never say never. Or don’t say it much. Or say always much, either.

Discovering right action and appropriateness for yourself as an active agent and being
responsible for your own life (and family etc.) is key, via the pathway of your own experience
and discernment, inner wisdom and intuition, etc. This is a moment by moment and day by day
process, as well as in regard to decisions with more long term ramifications— like marriage,
commitments and projects, leave-taking, divorce, moving house or whatever.

Some people find it quite hard to say no, as you must know, or to maintain healthy boundaries
and balance in relationships, etc. Yet sometimes saying ‘no’ can be quite affirmative, as in
learning not to spoil children. Sometimes one makes errors of omission by not doing what
actually needs doing, which can be equally destructive—or just unsatisfying— as errors of
commission. Sometimes saying no to someone or something includes and implies a big yes to
yourself or to something else more valuable.

Giving up might sound negative, yet letting go and equanimous nonattachment is often helpful
and even prescribed. And surrender of the right kind (and time and place, and for right reasons
INCLUDING NO OTHER VIABLE CHOICE) can have great spiritual value and meaningful
purpose.

I would say: Never give in to discouragement, and always cultivate an open and clear heart-mind
and attitude—IF pressed to use totalizing words like always and never.

Source for This Article - http://www.surya.org