我的立场

“If you know anything that is
hurtful or untrue,
do not say it.
If you know anything that is
helpful but untrue,
do not say it.
If you know anything that is
hurtful but true,
do not say it.
If you know anything that is
helpful and true,
find the right time.”

Need reminders like this to put me on the right path. I bitched about someone in my diary yesterday, and the whole process felt inconclusive and pointless, much less cathartic. I even felt bad and unsettled.

Although I didn’t bitch about it to another person (therefore no bad karma I hope), the bad imprints are going to stay with me unless I do some purification practice like repentance.

Right speech is so very hard to practice, especially when everyone around you thrive on gossip. But I’m going to adopt a 隔岸观火 stance from now on, even if that makes me look prudish, unconcerned and downright boring. Listen, ooh and aah, and forget all about it. Say nothing.

As for that person I bitched about, I don’t have that much wisdom and compassion in me to transform her. I only ask for myself to keep a safe distance away from people like her. 敬而远之,退避三舍。

And then there’s

Should a seeker not find a companion who
is one’s better or equal, let one resolutely pursue a solitary course; there is no fellowship with a fool.

The Dhammapada Chapter 5 Verse 61
Explanation: People need companions. But if one does not find a person who is better than, or at least equal to oneself, it is better to be alone rather than keep company with foolish people. There is no profitable companionship with fools.

Sources: here and here

I’m not trying to say my friends who gossip are all fools and I’m going to sever ties with them and live like a loner. Gossip in the name of fun and jest won’t kill.

But I have a friend who found it hard to fit in with her classmates who back-stab and spread malice about others. Such gossip kills! It’s not easy having to face them everyday; she has no common topic with them and she’s quite the loner. I advised her to stay far away from them. Even if it means sticking out like a sore thumb. Even if it means walking around with no one to talk to. Oh my, my poor friend just smsed me to tell me she’s falling sick. See how being around fools can suck the energy and life out of a human being!

Indeed, it is better to be alone than keep company with foolish people! They will corrupt our minds by osmosis. Hearing malicious gossip all the time will sow seeds of unhappiness in us. Participating in them will make us even more unhappy.

We’ll be much happier alone!

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