By U’un Arifien (Kwee Ping Oen)
A wise man will not eliminate his “enemies” resorting to evil for evil because he knows taking this approach will only attract more enemies. The best way is for us to spread good intention while trying to “understand” them. It is really not easy to be done, but there are some simple examples that we encounter on a daily basis, such as:
We should realize earnestly that as long as we are alive in this world, we will not be able to escape from the difficulties of life. As an old man, I am often consulted by relatives and friends how to deal with problematic people. Some of them have difficulties with their partner, having trouble with friends at the office or in business, problem with neighbors, or even with their own housekeeper who turns out to be problematic or to be someone who is “annoying.”
I will try to describe what people like you think as “problematic” or “enemy.”
- A personality who is shameless and ungrateful.
- One who is bad tempered, and blames others for what he did.
- A personality who is not willing to change; thinks that he is rich and very powerful, self-righteous, and ranked high among people.
- One who is not creative, lazy, often complain, and give up easily.
- One who is negative, judgmental of others, demanding and always suspicious.
- One who is stubborn, have no friends, and hard to forgive.
- One who is indecisive, and has no self-confidence.
- One who is too extravagant, who does not weigh carefully the cost of anything.
- One who is stingy and think that everyone will make him lose.
- One who is a liar (talk a lot) and arrogant.
Those are roughly the criteria of problematic people that normally exist in the general society, and certainly there are some still unlisted.
As mentioned above, I have said that while living in this world we cannot escape from suffering including the suffering of facing those “problematic people” and we have to realize that they are part of life in this world.
So, in fact if we see or have to deal with those people who are considered problematic, the first thing we have to realize is that they are also human and want to be happy like the rest of us, it is only that their approach to achieving their happiness might be different but the goal is the same which is to be happy.
This part of our lives can be illustrated like this:
We live in a house in a village where there is flooding when it rains. To solve this problem we work really hard until we have more money, buy a house in a better location where there is no flooding. However, we have a neighbor who likes to borrow money, or other careless neighbors who dispose of their garbage indiscriminately. Also the head of the neighborhood (Pak RT), who is never in his place when there is need to contact him, or electricity service often disrupted because so many people try to cheat and steal the electricity. What a make life difficult.
When we acquire even more money, we move again to a better house. The water is clean, rather quiet and comfortable place. But another set of problems arise such as when the night comes it is too quiet and there are lots of mosquitoes, it is not as safe because of theft, even in broad daylight a motorcycle is stolen. Moreover it is quite far to everywhere. In conclusion, there must be problems living in this world.
So life is full of challenges, full of suffering, there is no place in the world that is safe, stable and without suffering. The rich man who looks good, have a nice house, nice car, have his own set of problems.
So it is wrong when people say that the rich do not have problems. Rich as well as poor, intellectual or uneducated, everyone have problems in their respective lives.
There is a monk who told his experience of when he was invited to give a talk in a prison where he did not encounter the hardened criminals such as murderers, thieves, rapists and so on. Those people he met were commonly just like us. They were kind, polite and had the compassion at least for their families or close friends. They were just those people who may have violated state law or committed crimes either planned or unplanned.
They are people who live normally, they do not live wild, unrestrained lives, neither are they people who cannot be friends or hang out with other human beings. Only in certain areas have they done something different than what we do which required them being incarcerated.
Actually, our minds often calculate wrongly. We often have thoughts to “judge” the person as difficult. For example, we say a person is arrogant or he is grumpy, he is lazy and so forth. If our mind is already set to judge someone as arrogant, then let us say that all of his movements or speech we have perceived as his “arrogance”. Likewise, if we judge him as a stubborn person, or fussy, our minds have been affected by our judgment or our own presumption.
It is indeed wise to refrain from making presumptions or having pre-judgmental thoughts.
We should let go of all our judging and labeling of others. Remember, we must have a good heart, an open mind and be friendly. If we are good and friendly with others, we definitely will get better treatment from others. If sometimes we get a reaction from someone who is not in accordance with our expectations, we have to accept it as part of life in this world. We should take care of ourselves but not think negative thoughts. Let us avoid revenge in our tender hearts.
Our perspective on life determines whether we choose to get hurt or want to learn to be mature. Hate is a waste of time. This available “time” we can use to enjoy life with friends, family and loved ones.
Good luck in releasing the labels of others.
HAPPINESS DEPENDS ON OUR PREJUDICES OF THIS LIFE.
LEARN TO ENJOY WHAT WE HAVE AND HAVING GRATITUDE MAKES A MORE PEACEFUL HEART.
Translated by Selfy Parkit, edited by Maurice P. Smith.