by Conscious Reminder
According to Buddha, one cannot blindly trust oneself to see through one’s innate delusion. When someone is deluded, they don’t know that they are and they make judgments without quite “seeing” the reality.
Our judgments are based on our perceptions of the world which again depend on various factors like upbringing, social ethos, economic conditions, cultural heritage, past baggage and life experiences.
Obviously, one cannot just shed off one’s inhibitions but surely with time and education they can refine it. We all see the world through our colored lenses, some are black, some are blue and some may even be red, who is the judge? Which is the “correct” color- if there’s any such thing at all?
In our day to day lives, we make a lot of choices, most of them have to do with ourselves but few have to do with our connections with other people around us.
Have you noticed that when you are running late and stop for your coffee, you just assume that the person behind the counter is taking more time than usual and pass a silent judgment thinking that they are incompetent, or when you see people dress “differently” you pass a judgment on their background, or let’s say when someone does something that you don’t think is suitable, you judge their sensibilities.
Each and every day we as a society judge others pointlessly because of our egotistical attitudes that we “know better”.
I read this insightful story somewhere, pretty recently. I’ll tell you about it. Once, when King Pasenadi came to see the Buddha, a group of naked ascetics passed nearby. The king went over, got down on one knee, and offered them homage.
Then he returned to the Buddha and asked, “Are those ascetics worthy of homage?” The Buddha replied that you could fairly answer that question only after having spent time with them, and only if you were really observant. The king praised the Buddha’s caution, and added in retrospection, “Those men are actually my spies.
They’re on the way back from having scouted out the enemy, and soon — after bathing and clothing themselves — they’ll be back enjoying themselves with their wives.” So you can’t judge people just by first impressions. The appearance of wisdom is easy to fake.
In the past, people were impressed by extreme austerities; at present, the ads for dharma books and retreats show that we’re attracted to other surface criteria, but the principle is the same.
This video explores the same dichotomy. It shows a handsome young man who has bought five donuts for five dollars at the airport and is waiting for his flight.
Meanwhile, an old man who looks disoriented and possibly homeless, assumption based on his unkempt long hair and crumpled clothes along with his lost expression shares the same table with him.
The table has a bag of donuts from which the old man takes one out and starts eating. The younger man doesn’t approve of this move as he believes he should be eating the food he bought, however he too eats one from the bag.
The old man again takes a donut out while scribbling something on a pad; the young guy decides to ignore the man while taking a donut himself and resuming his work.
Now, there’s just one donut left which the old man divides into two, gets up for his flight and nods at the young man. The latter is totally appalled by the former’s guts and is visibly agitated as he was the one who shared the bag of donuts without a word out of kindness.
He then gets up to pick his bag and is shocked to see his packet of donuts lying there untouched. It was he who had just eaten someone else’s food without realizing it!
So, everything the young man thought was proven wrong in the end. He judged the old man on his haggard appearance and pitied him. One should just not be judgmental as it’s not possible to be in that person’s shoes. In the famous song by Pink Floyd titled Us and Them, there’s a remarkable line:
“Black and blue
And who knows which is which and who is who”
We do not have the authority to judge anyone so why not be kind to each other while making the world a better and brighter place?
Video courtesy of Little Things
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