This weeks slogan – Don’t Speak of Injured Limbs – is about letting go of the need to point out the faults of others. This is not so much about whether the conduct is offensive, harmful or cruel. It is about our need to constantly point out the fault(s). It is like being trapped in aversion and/or desire. We go through the world constantly pointing out the wrong behavior of others. No wonder we can’t see our own harmful, offensive and destructive ways. We are too busy looking away from ourselves.
I like they way this slogan treats “faults” as injured limbs. It helps us learn to see another’s faulty behavior as an injury like a missing leg, deformed arm or being in a wheelchair. We would never point out or make a big deal about a another’s physical injury. This slogan helps us see that faulty behavior comes from injury also. So pointing out another’s fault is like making fun of their injury. In a way, you are causing additional harm to someone already in pain.
I’m pretty sure this slogan will raise all kinds of red flags around behavior that is dangerous. The mind is probably bursting to point out that we should not let such conduct go unnoticed. Keep in mind, however, this practice is about cultivating kindness. It isn’t about whether you speak so much as how you speak. Norman Fisher titles this – don’t talk about faults. He notes that if you practiced not pointing out the faults of another regularly you would become a more likable person. You decrease the need to find fault with others and, if you do correct or address the faulty conduct of another, you do so from a place of compassion rather than judgment.
My question for the week is – what do you think this would do to you if you stopped talking about your own faults. What if you saw your own faulty behavior as an injured limb, do you think it would help you generate care and compassion for yourself?