Today, I watched a one-minute short film that made me think about some aspects of life.
The story goes like this…
A man hired an auto-rickshaw which is a taxi on three wheels, and common in India. The movie begins with the vehicle stopped at a traffic light, waiting for the light to turn green. A handicapped person (who can’t walk well) moves towards this auto-rickshaw, asking for some money. The driver does not say anything but shoos him away with a gesture of his hand to move on.
Meanwhile, the passenger auto-rickshaw, feeling pity for this handicapped person, takes out some money from his pocket, and hands it to him. Then the passenger tells the driver, “You must be earning at least 200 rupees a day. If you give one rupee from that to this handicapped person, you won’t lose much. But it will help this person to have a meal.”
The auto driver doesn’t say anything. The next scene shows them reaching the destination, and the passenger giving a currency note to the driver. The driver takes it and says, “Sir, I don’t have change.” The passenger tells the driver, “Take this and go to the next shop and get some change while I wait here for you.”
The auto driver does not say anything. He steps out of the auto, and it is at that time in the film that we are able to see that the auto driver is also handicapped. He has crutches; one leg is paralyzed. Holding his crutches, the driver moves towards the shop.
There ends the film.
A change in perception
As watchers of the film, we may initially think: “Oh, this auto driver is a cruel guy; he is insensitive”, because he didn’t give any money. Also when the passenger tells him that it’s good to be kind, the driver does not reply that he’s also handicapped. We notice that the auto driver is similar to the person who came begging, but he’s earning his own living. He is probably in worse condition but he’s not uttering a word.
We now view the passenger in a different light – he does not want to get out of the auto until he gets the change. And again, the auto driver does not complain. He does not tell the passenger that he is handicapped. He just takes his crutches, and walks towards the shop to get the change.
In this very well-depicted film, our whole perception changes in one minute.
The auto driver’s silence shows he has accepted his situation, and also accepted the opinion of the passenger. He is not trying to explain anything to anybody. He respects the passenger, and also his duty to give the change to the passenger, even though he’s handicapped. He didn’t tell the passenger: “Look here, I cannot walk. Why don’t you go and do it for me?” Instead, his acceptance level was very visible: he decided to go to the shop to get the change.
The story also gives much food for thought:
1. Are we too fast in judging people?
2. We don’t have to speak in all situations; we can also keep silent. Sometimes our silence speaks much better than words.
3. We don’t have to prove anything to anybody. Life proves it.
4. We have to allow for some time before making a judgement about someone: time to understand the person, where he’s coming from, what’s the reason for all this, and then make a judgement. Or even avoid making judgement at all, since there is karma behind every action, every event, and every experience.
We should look at ourselves to see whether we have spoiled relationships because of how fast we judged someone.
For the sake of ego, and because of our expectations, how many relationships have we spoiled?
One of the main causes that strangle relationships is our judgemental attitude. Judging all people around us is usually habitual. Its expressions are unwarranted criticism and gossiping.
When we judge, we cannot love. Love and respect are the oxygen of every relationship. Judgment kills it.
In life, it’s not easy to mend relationships but it’s very easy to spoil them. When you walk away from a relationship, understand that a door is now closed, an opportunity is closed, and an experience is closed. So we have to be really careful about relationships and about their worth.
I always believe in one thing: if an argument spoils a relationship, do not have that argument. The relationship is more important.
A relationship whether it is good, bad or ugly – a relationship gives experience. It is worth it. What you earn by losing a relationship is usually a paltry pleasure for the senses or for the mind – that’s transitory and changes; it doesn’t stay.
If we think deeper, we may understand. It is better if we give more value to each relationship we have: invest in it, nurture it, respect it.
Sometimes it’s good to lose to win.
That means at some points in time, we can choose to lose in order to succeed. This is an important thing we must understand: it’s not bad to lose, with awareness.
This means we can choose to lose a competition. When we are deliberately choosing failure, that’s our victory. So in the film, this auto driver did not answer, speak out or explain. And in a way, he chose to lose. But he became victorious. In our hearts, he attained victory.
Sometimes we choose to fail for the sake of making another person victorious. That’s our strength. And we will be more regarded or rewarded by that action. A failure by choice is not a bad idea. Sometimes, a mother chooses to accept failure in front of a child, just so the child can have the experience of victory. Here, nobody has failed, and nobody has lost.
The reason we judge
We also judge ourselves all the time – it has become our habit.
It all starts with us: we have not accepted ourselves completely. That’s the reason why we judge others.
We criticise everything – all because we have not accepted ourselves.
How much have we accepted ourselves? That’s the fundamental question.
Everyone may not accept us. But we can accept everyone. Acceptance is within us, and so is rejection. Acceptance does not meand changing your outlook for the sake of everyone. It simply means acknowledging their views without prejudices.
If you accept yourself, everything else is fine. Then you will live and let live. You will not judge anybody. I wish you a great day and a great future
For more information, please refer to www.mohanji.org.
Avoiding Judgement, Respecting Relationships