Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Something I read a few years ago, from the Ethics for the New Millennium , written by His Holiness the Dalai Lama:

"At a public talk I gave in Japan a few years ago, I saw some people coming toward me carrying a bunch of flowers. I stood up in anticipation of receiving their offering, but to my surprise, they walked straight past and laid the flowers on the altar behind me. I sat down feeling somewhat embarassed! Yet again I was reminded that the way in which things and events unfold does not always coincide with our expectations. Indeed, this fact of life--that there is often a gap between the way in which we perceive phenomena and the reality of a given situation--is the source of much unhappiness. This is especially true when, as in the example here, we make judgments on the basis of partial understanding, which turns out to be fully justified."

Over the years I've often thought of this excerpt. It's a pearl of wisdom that has helped me to accept others and to understand their expectations--which are often bound by their perceptions of a situation. Even more importantly, it has served to ground me, remind me not to take myself too seriously, that we don't always know the whole story when it somes to other people, situations, or even the situations we find ourselves in. It's a reminder not be bound by the limitations of our perceptions, which as a practical matter, inherently require that certain assumptions must be made.

Well, these words of guidance--words to live by were just as easily forgotten as I rang in the New Year this weekend.


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