Life without prejudice is a life full of love

"There is an important lesson here that we must learn: never assume anything," says Mata Amritanandamayi.
Mata Amritanandamayi at the Math (Photo | EPS)
Mata Amritanandamayi at the Math (Photo | EPS)

Children, if we examine how we respond to the situations we encounter, we will see that most of the time, preconceived notions shape our responses. We must learn to regard the circumstances of our life without prejudice. We ought to be like the tailor, who takes measurements anew every time a customer wants something made. He will not make the clothing based on measurements taken previously. Knowing that one’s size can change in a short span of time, the tailor will take fresh measurements every time. There is an important lesson here that we must learn: never assume anything.

Amma remembers a story. A middle-aged man was strolling with his young son in a park. The son excitedly asked, “Look, dad, isn’t this a rose?”
With great joy and enthusiasm, the father replied, “Yes, son, it is.”
“Is the colour of this rose what they mean by red?”
“Yes, son, this is red.”
Seeing the sprawling green lawn before him, the youth asked, “Dad, is this grass? Is this the green colour?”
“Yes, son, this is grass and the colour of grass is green.”

In this way, father and son kept pointing at various things and talking in loud and excited voices. A man longing for some peace and quiet was sitting on a bench in the park. Enraged by the disturbance, he told the father, “People like me come here, hoping to enjoy some peace of mind, but because you and your son are talking so loudly, I have lost whatever peace I had. No matter what that mentally retarded kid says, you keep saying “Yes, son… yes, son.” But that’s not going to make him any better.”

Hearing this, father and son remained silent for a while. Then, regaining his composure, the father said, “Forgive us. My son isn’t retarded. He was born blind. Two days ago, he underwent surgery to give him a vision. After the bandages were removed, I wanted to take him to a place where he could see beautiful sights. That’s why we came here. Enraptured by the beauty of this garden, which he was seeing for the first time, he asked me many questions excitedly, and I enthusiastically answered him, forgetting everything else. When one finds the treasure, how joyful one will be! In that elation, one will even forget one’s surroundings. That’s how it was with us. Please forgive us.”

Hearing this, the man felt remorseful. He begged forgiveness for having spoken such sharp words. On that day, he took a vow: “Henceforth, I will never judge anyone prematurely and get angry with him or her.”
When he realised that his anger was caused by a misunderstanding and preconceived notions, the anger turned into love and compassion. If we can patiently gauge situations, we will definitely be able to awaken the love and compassion in our hearts. May my children be able to do so. The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader and humanitarian

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