Do not take the example of another

August 19, 2013 Comments Off on Do not take the example of another

 Do not take the example of another as an excuse for your own wrongdoing.

                        Bowl of Saki, August 18, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

How few there are in this world who stop to think whether the actions of another are right for him! We are so ready to accuse another, and we are so ready to hide our own faults. Did we but look at right and wrong from his standpoint, we should find that the meaning of right and wrong would change. It is wrong for a little child to go out without asking its parents, because perhaps it will meet a motorcar from which it cannot protect itself. But would the same thing be wrong for a grown-up? It is only during the age of childhood that the act is wrong, later it is right. …

Look not on life as a person would watch a play on the stage. Rather look upon it as a student who is learning at college. It is not a passing show; it is not a place of amusement in which to fool our life away. It is a place for study, in which every sorrow, every heartbreak brings a precious lesson. It is a place in which to learn by one’s own suffering, by the study of the suffering of others; to learn from the people who have been kind to us as well as from the people who have been unkind. It is a place in which all experiences, be they disappointments, struggles, and pains, or joys, pleasures, and comforts, contribute to the understanding of what life is, and the realization what it is.


When the moral conception of life is understood better, when man knows what is right, and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad and judges himself only, he sees these two opposite things in his own life, person and character. For man sees the folly of another and wishes to judge another, when his sense of justice is not wide awake. Those whose personalities have brought comfort and healing to their fellow men were the ones who only used the faculty of justice to judge themselves, who tried to correct themselves of their own follies; and being engaged in correcting themselves had hardly time in their life to judge another. The teaching of Christ: “Judge not, lest ye be judged”, will always prove the greatest example to be followed.

   ~~~ “Supplementary Papers, Psychology III”, by Hazrat Inayat Khan (unpublished)

At every step of evolution man’s conception of good and bad, of right and wrong, changes. How does it change? Does he see more wrong or does he see less wrong as he evolves? One might naturally think that by virtue of one’s evolution one would see more wrong, but that is not the case; the more one evolves the less wrong one sees, for then it is not always the action itself which counts, it is the motive behind it. Sometimes an action, apparently right, may be made wrong by the motive behind it. Sometimes an action, apparently wrong, may be right on account of its motive. Therefore although the ignorant are ready to form an opinion of another person’s action, for the wise it is most difficult to form an opinion of the action of another.



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