Thursday, May 19, 2011
Many people think knowledge as wisdom. For them the people who know great things are wise people. If one is well versed in great religious scriptures and sacred texts, he is considered as a wise man. Many intelligent people misuse this assumption to their advantage. Quoting pages after pages from sacred texts is the real indicator of one’s memory and hard work. We may appreciate such persons for their memory and hard work. But if we worship them as wise and holy people we cheat ourselves with our ignorance.
One may ask, “Then, what is wisdom?” We may find answer to the question in Dan Millman’s book “The way of peaceful warrior”. In the book he explains about his friendship with a calm and wise person whom he calls Socrates. He asks Socrates a profound question and receives a great answer. He says “Once Socrates and I were servicing a car, and I was doing the windows and he was pumping the gas, and I said, "Well, what is the difference between knowledge and wisdom?" He just looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and said, "Knowledge is knowing how to clean the windows, and wisdom is doing it." Wisdom is practice, practice, practice.”
Knowledge gives you the tools but never mistake the tools for the treasure. With knowledge you may know what is good to you. But if you do not bring your knowledge into your real life, if your actions are not aligned with your knowledge then your knowledge is useless to you.
Wisdom is using the knowledge to your advantage. It means a great commitment with strong will power. It is knowing what is great and pursuing it with commitment no matter what. Many people feel they like to do something, and they say, "I'm committed." But then an obstruction, a difficulty, comes up in life, and they change their mind. Now, I'm not saying we can't be flexible, but commitment means no matter what comes up, it's like a hurdle we overcome and strengthen ourselves in doing so. Commitment means you go for it whole heartedly.
Wisdom is not only knowledge in practice. It is more. It has deep understanding of the pros and cons of the knowledge. It judges all the knowledge with end results and uses it accordingly. It has a great sense of responsibility and awareness. So it doesn’t use knowledge blindly. Knowledge may boost your ego. But with wisdom, you will not let your ego to run your life. You will eliminate conflict and arguments as you find it unnecessary to prove yourself to any one.
So get knowledge. But don’t stop with the knowledge obtained. Move towards wisdom and live wisely. Then only you will find peace and give back the peace to the world.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
The Bible has a lot to say about being judgmental. Jesus and the apostles understood clearly the human tendency to judge others.
"Stop judging others and you will not be judged. For others will treat you as you treat them. Whatever measure you use in judging others, it will be used to measure how you are judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, `Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye, then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye." (Samuel 16:7)
Matthew 7:1 - Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Luke 6:37 - Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
This is an issue that has confused many people. On one hand, we are commanded by the Lord Jesus not to judge. On the other hand, the Bible also exhorts us to beware of evildoers and false prophets and to avoid those who practice all kinds of evil. How can we know who these people are if we do not make some kind of judgment about them? All things, big and small, invite our judgment. At every moment of the day, something or other is inviting our judgment of it.
When Jesus told us not to judge, He was telling us not to judge hypocritically. There is a righteous kind of judgment we are supposed to exercise—with careful discernment. If you don't want to be judged by certain standards, then don't judge others by those same standards. That's hypocrisy. The truth is, we all judge people. We do it when we watch people. We do it based on appearances, grades, scores, and references.
What we must be careful about is making judgments on things that tell us little about a person's character. A person's appearance ought to never be a basis for judgment. We should not base our judgment on a person's skin colour, how pretty, how ugly, and other physical qualities that we are born with and can do nothing about. These things tell us nothing about a person's character and thus should not be made. So never judge anyone simply based on their look or lack of a look. And whether a person is good or bad should only be judged by his purpose and intention, and not by his mere actions.
The book of Leviticus in the Hebrew Bible contains codes of laws and other precepts, including statements concerning judging others:
“...do not favor the poor or show deference to the rich; judge your neighbor fairly...You shall not hate your kinsman in your heart. Reprove your neighbor, but incur no guilt against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. [19:16-17]”
Rabbi Hillel noted, “Don't judge your fellow human being until you have reached that person's place."
Rabbi Bartinoro believed that only people who were confident that they had attained equally good or better behaviors themselves should judge, "If you see your neighbor ensnared by some temptation, do not judge your neighbor harshly until you have faced the same temptation and mastered it."
The act of judgment involves looking to our own store of knowledge, putting together a few facts, figures or fancies, and coming up with some judgment. When we render judgment on another, we have taken upon ourselves an awesome responsibility for making the correct judgment.
The following poem (I found in the net) “Do not judge too hard” by Georgy explains beautifully the way to arrive at fair judgment.
Pray don’t find fault with the man who limps
Or stumbles along the road
Unless you have worn the shoes that hurt
Or struggled beneath his load
There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt,
Though hidden away from view
Or the burden he bears, placed on your back,
Might cause you to stumble, too.
Don’t sneer at the man who’s down today
Unless you have felt the blow
That caused his fall, or felt the same
That only the fallen know.
You may be strong, but still the blows
That were his, if dealt to you
In the self same way at the self same time,
Might cause you to stagger, too.
Don’t be too harsh with the man who sins
Or pelt him with words or stones,
Unless you are sure, yea, doubly sure,
That you have no sins of your own.
For you know perhaps, if the tempters voice
Should whisper as soft to you
As it did to him when he went astray,
‘Twould cause you to falter, too.
So remember- Judgments are fallible and consequently must be carried out with care and empathy. A person's situation must be taken into account as you evaluate someone's behavior. Only then fair judgments can be made.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Many of us have great ideas. The ideas that have great potentials and possibilities. But we do nothing with our great ideas for many reasons and lead medicre and safe life. So we miss the greatness and real beauty of our life. Ultimately we waste our potential and sadly waste everything worthy in life. This message is powerfully given in the following passage of Craig Harper. Please read, undersatand and please ACT!
The Power of an Idea
Anyone (yep, you too) can take an idea, build some momentum, overcome a few challenges, deal with the obligatory crap that life dishes out and create something amazing and at the same time re-invent themselves.
Read this and remember it:
"Who we are, how we are and what our life becomes, is not pre-determined; it's a choice."
Both the refuge of the weak.
For some people, an idea is the beginning of something amazing; a life-changing, paradigm-shifting wild ride of fun, learning, adapting, skill development and personal growth.
A catalyst for positive change; for the life and the reality we really desire.
And for others the word 'idea' is an acronym for I Don't Even Attempt.
For many, that's exactly what it is.
Their ideas stay just that; thoughts, possibilities, concepts, theories.
Often great ideas.
Pity they do nothing with them.
Plenty of potential.
In theory, they are creative and brilliant.
But practically, they're paralysed.
In their head, they're amazing.
Out here in the world, not so much.
Call it analysis paralysis.
We do nothing with our great ideas for a bunch of reasons but ultimately it's a waste of our potential and sadly sometimes, a waste of a life.
We are the kings (and queens) of... 'almost' and 'soon' and 'now-is-not-the-right-time'.
We tell ourselves it's about timing.
It's not a timing thing; it's a you and me thing.
You know that.
When we deny our creativity and our potential, a little bit of us dies; emotionally, psychologically, creatively.
And when we do it for long enough, we build a prison for ourselves.
Living somewhere we don't want to (I'm not talking about a house or a location here).
But then again, we don't really live.. we exist.
We 'get by'.
We go through the motions.
We're champions at simulating productivity while simultaneously doing nothing.
We're experts at wasting great ideas.
At 'nearly' doing stuff.
Dying a little bit each day.
Rather than taking our life by the scruff of the neck and shaking the crap out of it... we meekly hope that somehow we will succeed.
Fall on our feet perhaps.
We consistently do nothing with our ideas.
Daily we waste time and talent.
We slowly and methodically kill our creative selves by consistently doing nothing with our ideas.
We start to lose hope.
We become pessimistic and cynical.
What an unnecessary and unfulfilling way to live a life.
We constantly think about our life, our relationships, our body, our finances, our spiritual selves, our career. We have great ideas and create amazing scenarios and outcomes in our head... but sadly, it ends there.
We're here on this big blue ball for eighty years or so, I figure we may as well take that mind, that potential and those ideas of ours out for a spin and see what we can do.
There's an idea!
Take them out of the garage (take action on those ideas), get 'em out on the freeway (create some momentum) and see what they can do (turn your idea into a thing).
Yes, it's scary... you'll cope.
Yes, you might look silly or scrape your knees every now and then... so?
Yes, it might be uncomfortable or even painful at times... welcome to life.
No, not every body will be happy for you or support you... big deal.
And yes sometimes in 'that moment' you'll doubt, regret and stress...
But the rewards over the long-term are amazing.
Personally I'd rather die trying than 'survive' an existence I hate.
As I've said before... sadly, some of us will die with our music still in us.
- Craig Harper