What do we have to do to change the balance sheet of our lives so that for every measure of impatience and intolerance there may be at least an equivalent sum of compassion and consideration?
With few exceptions, the usual focus of our attention and interactions with others is centered on our self and the fulfillment of its desires. The mindset of this lower consciousness, under most circumstances, is: "Me first." By forever placing its own considerations before considering any other, it remains the master of its own universe, even if all that revolves through it is its own imagined importance.
Through our willingness to work through the four special practices of the following inner exercise - to strive to employ these higher ideals in our relationships with others by placing our usual self in "second place," -- we agree not only to change the way we see our relationships, but we have also agreed to be changed by the truths our new relationships will inevitably show us about us.
- Should a sarcastic or unkind remark pop into your mind to tease, torment, or in any way "trash" another person, try swallowing it first to see how it tastes before you dish it out.
- Even when you know that you are solidly in the right, rather than rub it in, sacrifice your righteousness.
- There are times when the greatest strength (and kindness) one can possess is to allow another his weakness without pointing it out or otherwise punishing him for it.
- Do whatever act of kindness you may be moved to do for another person without drawing attention to your deed, or to yourself for having done it.
All spiritual practices are a means to self-discovery, so use each developing moment in your relationships with family, friends, and coworkers to consciously change your relationship with yourself. Keep in mind that everything true you learn about yourself enlarges your relationship with life.