Placing Others First

The “One Minute Wisdom” noted the following parable:

LI*20972“To the disciple who was forever complaining about others the Master said, “If it is peace you want, seek to change yourself, not other people. It is easier to protect your feet with slippers than to carpet the whole earth.”

Many of us who meditate have some form of Mantra. The Christian faith has many, just as other faiths as well. Ideally, these Mantras or prayers should be of compassion. And this compassion should always circle the heart, as it were a prayer wheel, a living breath, a loving concern for others.

All of us need unconditional love. A true love, not cold detachment, but a very warm, spiritual equanimity, equal to all that helps us treat others as we ourselves would be treated.  All of us must recognize our intrinsic connection, our total interconnectedness, totally inseparable from each other and all those around us. Each person is part of the net, a luminous diamond or pearl, like a mirror-like jewel that reflects and contains all the others.

When you look at the collective humanity from this view, one no longer judges the world. As George Bernard Shaw might say, we become “… a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

Instead of complaints, we must learn to treat others as we would be treated; to equalize oneself and others; to know where others are coming from; what others want and need. The wisdom of unselfishness or selflessness reveals that real heart of interconnectedness, interpenetrativeness, and love.  Equalizing ourselves with others, or even more radically, putting them first is central.

Put others first. If we see ourselves as one person on one side and all the beings in this world on another, we might one day have to ask “Which side is really more important?

Personally, I’ve put myself ahead of others for years. How about you?  Care to join the other side?



Categories: Faith & Doubt, Life Lessons

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