Friday, March 14, 2008

Some Diet Advice for Myself

Other than the exceedingly rare story of someone’s humble and virtuous actions, one of the few enjoyable experiences reading the daily newspaper is seeing the mighty get their comeuppance—obviously the Sheriff of Wall Street’s self destruction, and Lord Black of Crossharbour’s arrival at a Florida prison, come to mind.

Righteousness is a tasty emotional treat, but an unhealthy diet. Less appetizing, but much more nutritious, is recollecting your own failings. When I remember to chew on the bitter morsels of recollections of my own crimes, misdemeanors, and deceits, my projected bubble, in which I am always virtuous and right, gets a little punctured.

One nice thing about this diet is there are all sorts of opportunities to fill up. If a friend, colleague, or relative harms you, try a bite of your own imperfections. It is not as tasty as schadenfraude (pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others), but it will definitely deflate your ego. That’s the point of dharma, isn’t it?

PS. That reminds me of a quote that my friend Derek Kolleeny is fond of: “Before you criticize someone, try walking a mile in their shoes. That way, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.”

1 comment:

Dorje Samten said...

If their shoes don't fit, should I still wear them?