Yesterday morning as I was brushing my teeth and looking into the mirror, a thought occurred to me — What if the reflection that I am seeing becomes a reality? I wondered, what if the person in the mirror comes out and starts living with me in the physical world 24×7 ???
I was pushed by this thought into a deep introspection.
Many a times, as may be the case in most families, I get into unnecessary arguments with my wife, kids, parents…the response I get is — “In all these years, you just couldn’t understand me well enough” ….”Dad, why don’t you chill….!” ….”it was such a pakau joke Dad”…. “it’s impossible to talk to you, Ohh forget it” …When I analyse these comments and signals, I do realize that sometimes I must be acting terribly difficult and different than the expectations…but I do not recognize it or accept it, and always feel that I was right and they were wrong.
Now all of a sudden this thought is overpowering me that if I have to live with ME, would I like it? If the person in the mirror actually emerges as my life partner, companion…will I enjoy ‘MY’ company? Will I crave to be with ME? Will I tolerate or adjust to my mood swings, irritation, anger, habits, prejudices, stubbornness, conservative thinking, self-centrerdness, arrogance, ego, “I am always right” attitude, complexes……oh sh**, I can go on and on…
As I think, I could see that I am too boring a company to my kids, my wife, my friends and my colleagues…. too old school…I don’t laugh enough, not really fun-loving…I keep nagging others, I am egoistic, a poor listener and irritating, I am not accommodating or flexible in my approach, I am stubborn and self-centred and hence I confess that I would not like to live with ME.
When they say — treat others the way you would want to be treated…. I have started thinking and looking at self from outside the frame to get a clearer ME.
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Loved this short story which depicts the ‘desirable’ ME.
Zhao Zi Hao’s made it big in business so he spent money buying a piece of land in the suburbs and built a three-storey villa. He had an impressive swimming pool in the garden with a hundred-year-old Lychee Tree in the backyard to boot. In fact, he bought the property precisely because of this tree. His wife loved eating lychees.
During renovations, his friends urged him to get guidance from a Feng-shui master, just to tread on the side of caution. Zhao Zi Hao’s never quite believed in Feng-shui yet surprisingly he took the advice to heart and went out of his way to engage a Feng-shui master from Hong Kong. The Grand Master was none other than Master Cao who’s been in the profession for over thirty years, renowned in the Feng-shui circle.
They had a meal in the city, then Zhao Zi Hao drove the Master to the suburbs. Along the way, when cars behind them tried to overtake, Zhao Zi Hao would simply give way.
The Master laughingly remarked: “Big Boss Zhao, your driving is really safe.” He spoke really fluent mandarin for a Hongkie.
Zhao Zhi Hao laughed at the remark: “Usually people who need to overtake have some urgent matter to attend to, so we shouldn’t hold them up.
Arriving at a small town the streets grew narrow and so Zhao Zi Hao slowed down.
A giggling child suddenly darted out from an alley and as the child ran across the street, Zao still didn’t speed up. Instead, he kept his gaze on the alley, as if waiting for something. Out of the blue, another child darted out, chasing after the child ahead.
Master Zao was surprised and asked: “How did you know there’d be another child following suit?”
Zhao Zi Hao shrugged: “Well, kids are always chasing after each other so it’s impossible for a child to be in such glee without a playmate.”
Master Cao gave him a big thumbs up and laughed out loud: “That’s really considerate of you!”
Arriving at the Villa, they got down from the car. Suddenly about seven to eight birds flocked from the backyard. Seeing so, Zhao said to Master Cao: “ If you don’t mind please wait here for a little while.”
“What’s the matter?” Master Cao was taken aback.
“Oh, there’s probably some kids stealing lychees in the backyard. If we walk in now we might give them a fright, let’s not risk anyone falling off the old Lychee Tree.” Zhao replied humorously.
Master Cao stayed silent for a while before stating matter-of-factly: “This home doesn’t need a fengshui evaluation anymore.”
Now it’s Zhao’s turn to be shocked: “Why’s that?”
“Any place graced with your presence naturally becomes the property with the most auspicious Feng-shui.”
When our minds prioritize others’ peace and happiness, the one who benefits is not just others, but ourselves too. When a person is considerate of others at all times, then this person has unconsciously accomplished Buddha-hood. The Buddha is in fact a person who, through benefiting others, becomes enlightened.
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The day when we see our reflection in the mirror and honestly feel that “Yes, I love My(Reflection)self and would be happy to share my entire life together”, we can be like the Zhao Zi Hao in the story. But if our answer is “No, I don’t like my(reflection)self, just can’t tolerate ME”, then it’s time to seriously consider a change, transformation and self-correction.
“Mariz” who is known as the ‘Ghalib of Gujarati Gazals’ once said –
“ખુદને ખરાબ કહેવાની હિમ્મત નથી રહી
તેથી બધા કહે છે જમાનો ખરાબ છે.”
“ख़ुद को बूरा कहे ने की हिम्मत नहीं रही
इसलिये लोग कहेते हैं ज़माना ख़राब है ।”
“Khud ko bura kahene ki ab himmat nahin rahi,
eesiliye log kahete hain zamana kharab hai.” (translated from Gujarati)
“I do not have guts to admit my short comings
hence I pass on the blame on to the world”