Understandings on Life: Blaming Others vs. Oneself

Guan Ming

PureInsight | February 21, 2010

[PureInsight.org] Amidst conflicts, whether we criticize others or look within is a measure of our spiritual level. There is an everyday saying, “It takes two to tango.” It means that any conflict in the human world is not caused from only one side. In other words, both sides should examine themselves, and whether they can do this will determine the outcome.

In the Analects of Confucius, there are many statements on the topic of blaming others vs. oneself. Some examples are, “A superior person disciplines himself while an inferior person disciplines others,” and “Examining oneself more and blaming others less will result in fewer complaints.” In my understanding, according to Confucius, if one is strict with himself and forgives others, few people will complain about him. A sage differs from an ordinary person in that he is able to criticize himself as if criticizing others, and forgive others as if forgiving himself. From the royal court to the interactions of commoners, if both sides are able to look within and improve themselves, conflicts will be easier to resolve. Otherwise, the complaints and hatred will accumulate and finally lead to undesirable results. Many of the misfortunes in life occur because the people involved are not examining themselves, but instead criticizing or attacking each other. If one is able to check himself more often and be more considerate of others, many conflicts could be avoided. By having a peaceful and harmonious mindset, we can create a happy environment for ourselves, others, and the entire society.

China has a 5000-year history of culture and etiquette. However, since the CCP took power 60 years ago, its brutality and brainwashing through education have practically erased the traditional modesty of Chinese culture. Here is an incident I saw when once traveling in China. In a crowded bus, a middle-aged man bumped into a young man by accident. The young man said, “Don’t you have eyes?” The middle-aged man became angry and they fought with each other. Both of them were bleeding, but neither one stopped until the police came. In late 2005, on Bus Route 726 in Beijing, I witnessed another incident. The ticket-seller had an argument with a 14-year old girl about whether the girl should pay extra since she did not get off at the right bus stop. They fought with each, and the ticket-seller beat the girl to the floor. The girl fainted, could not be resuscitated, and later died. After coming out of China, I found that when people overseas bumped into each other by accident in crowded conditions, they apologized instead of criticizing each other.

Therefore, if one simply criticizes others and complains about things, he is covering up his own mistakes and shirking his responsibilities. This will lead to unnecessary arguments and create bigger barriers between people. The only way to resolve conflicts is to look within and examine oneself. Therefore, rather than blaming others, we should look for our own mistakes and shortcomings. In this way, we will continuously improve and walk on the path of the Tao (Dao).

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2009/11/20/62698.html


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