Many of the actions and things that we do in our interactions with our fellow human beings lack mindfulness and /or a consideration for the well-being of others. We are careless, heedless and forgetful; we care little about how others would feel or be affected by our actions. As a result of this, oftentimes much suffering, conflicts and problems of human relationship arise. Isn’t it an irony that we Buddhists talk and preach so much about the importance of mindfulness and compassion but yet so often in our daily lives we do not practise these qualities? This may due to one or more of the following reasons:
• Our old bad habits and conditioned thinking and attitude.
• Lack of realization of the Dhamma. ( we are well-versed with “academic Dhamma” only. )
• Lack of reflection before we do a thing.
• The defilements of “self”, “greed”, “self-centredness” and “selfishness” .
• Adverse influences from the mass media, ‘fools’ etc.
It is time we put in more effort in our Dhamma practice to grow in our compassion and wisdom. We need to strive more
• in Dana, Sila and Bhavana
• in our study, reflection and practice of the Buddha’s teachings
• in our Vipassana Meditation
Let us examine some actual incidents/happenings to illustrate how our lack of mindfulness and consideration for others bring about negative effects or consequences.
# 1 Parking a vehicle
A certain lady drives her car to the morning market. She parks her car at a ridiculous position blocking other cars that need to go out.
A man whose car is blocked gets real mad when he finds he can’t reverse out. He has to wait half an hour for that inconsiderate lady. He curses her and scratches her car.
Think before we act. Be mindful and have a thought for others. It isn’t good to be cursed by others.
The irony is that the inconsiderate lady is a devout devotee of Kuan Yin – the embodiment of Compassion !
#2 Library Duty
A certain Librarian of a Community Library very often does not turn up for his afternoon duty. He does not inform the Head Librarian or anybody else. He just can’t be bothered.
The Library is ‘paralysed’ for that afternoon. Some students who come from far away to return books feel disappointed; some get very angry. They condemn the Librarian who is irresponsible.
One needs to reflect on one’s unskillful action … how it will cause pain or suffering to others.
Effort has to be put in to eradicate any bad habit that might have been with us for a long time.
Bro. Oh Teik Bin