Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.
We are reading "Tips for Happy Living - jIvnsUÇai[ /jiivanasuutraani", by Swami Tejomayananda (Guru-ji). Choose-days writings are here to prompt deeper thinking on the choices made on a daily basis and seek to provide prompts for raising the standard of one's thinking and living. This text composed in format of Sanskrit traditional teachings, speaks directly to this purpose. As ever, the full text may be obtained from CM Publications - or your local centre (see sidebar).
Commonsense says that if we give respect, then it ought to be ours in return. However, it is not always that straightforward. We may have experience of the flaws in others and be very wary, or we may find such flaws only in our dealing at a given time; either way, our respect and trust, not to mention confidence, can be shaken. How to deal with this?
Svdae;aNàit kQaerae=Nye;a< àit tu kaemlae _avet!.2.
Svadoshaanprati kathoro-nyeshaam prati tu komalo bhavet ||2||
One should be strict with one's own faults, but be tender towards others'.
All too readily we overlook our own shortcomings, yet equally or more readily see the negative traits in other people. More often than not we justify our faults with such platitudes as 'to err is human'. We have such self-indulgent, self-forgiving tendencies that we make light of our errors and, subsequently, show little improvement. Where is conscience? It ought to prick us and whip us and tell us to not gloss over these errors in our makeup. We ought to deeply regret any wrong doings or 'less than truths'; we should exercise the self-control we would demand of others.
Another way to look at this is that we long for and even expect that others will pay no heed to our negative traits… yet are we willing to do the same in return? It is in recognising, owning and correcting our own mistakes that we can best demonstrate the possibilities, it helps us understand that others have yet to achieve this level of self-improvement, and it frees us from over-worry and finger-pointing. There will always be someone who is later in developing then we are in matters of etiquette, compassion and so on. It behooves us to concern ourselves only with our own behaviour. There will always be someone else who cannot speak civilly, but this is no excuse for us to drop our values and standards.