There are many facets of a human being. When it comes to interaction with others, man faces two options―to act or to react. What does reacting or acting exactly mean? Take a look at all the actors around you. Actors in theaters, in street plays, in cinema... all of them get paid handsomely. They get rewarded for their talent. Now, can this be taken in a general term? Well, the answer is 'Yes'. Any person who 'acts' in his normal life gets rewarded. And any person who 'reacts' is always in a loss.
Humans play many roles in life. They are mainly―son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister, uncle, niece, nephew, and 'n' number of roles that one has to play in one's lifetime. These have to be played with the same seriousness that actors follow in movies. Only when one reacts in such situations, those conflicts arise. For example, when you are a son, you have to follow the duties of a son, like helping your parents, being there for your sister, fighting for your family, and pay back your dues to your family in the course of time. You are working for somebody. What duties are you supposed to follow? Being there on time, doing your job responsibly, taking level-headed and unbiased decisions according to your post, talking politely when required, following certain rules, regulations, and norms.
What happens if you don't act but react? React to the words said by your parents, employers, and friends? Are you going to lose immediately? Not really, but deep inside, you know that you have hurt them, and that they are feeling sad about it.
But there is also a time span in which one plays his respective roles. For example, I met a person who is an officer in the government, and is not having a healthy and satisfactory home life. Almost everyday he used to quarrel with his wife before he came to office. At home, he was playing the role of a husband, but in office he was supposed to play the role of a responsible official. Unfortunately, this was not the case. He used to continuously think about home and his wife, and their quarrels. He used to get angry with married people and be partial to bachelors. One of my friends (his subordinate) went up to him for a half-day leave request, as his wife had taken ill and he had to take her to the hospital immediately. But instead of seeing the urgency of the situation, he recollected all his memories of home, and didn't grant him permission for leave, citing him reasons like―these marriages are not good, do not ever bring the name of 'wife' in front of me again, etc. The end result, my friend quit his job the very next day.
But there is also a situation where a person is put into a dilemma about which role he should play. For example, a person running a business is not sure whether he has to play friend or employer when his friend's son comes to him for a job. He has to play two roles simultaneously, and the part he plays in one of the roles determines the end of the other role.
God has placed us to play a various number of roles in our lives. Those are roles of friend, employer, employee, parents, children, brothers and sisters, etc. It is playing these roles successfully and dedicatedly that will ensure our success. Reacting to these roles will take us nowhere, and will definitely stop us for progressing.