Thursday, August 5, 2010
A Task Worth All The Effort Required
One of the opinion pieces in the Catholic Times brings to our attention the tendency of seeing others negatively, thinking and saying negative things about others. This tendency to be critical, often justified as "just being truthful," is common in our society; we are quick to see the faults of others and point out their weaknesses.
Lamenting that nothing was going right in his life a man went to the Buddha for help. He was told you have to give to others. He said that he had nothing to give. The Buddha told him that no matter how poor you are you can perform the following 7 alms:
1) Greet another with warmth.
2) Speak to another with words of praise, encouragment and tenderness.
3) Open one's heart to the other.
4) Look about the other gently.
5) With the body help another with their work and baggage.
6) Give one your seat.
7) Without being asked, respond by reading another's heart, and then help.
The writer selects three of these as the million dollar task of a group that he will be leading on a summer vacation. To see others with kindly eyes; think well of them, and say good things about them. In doing so we leave no room for the negative in our relations with others.
Look on others with friendly eyes; think well, and speak well of them, and you will be happy. (Matthew 28 verse 21) You won't find this in Matthew the writer concludes, but it could very well be part of Jesus's teaching to the disciples.