Yun Yi's Stuff

It’s a weakness not to be able to face others suffering, an even weaker weakness to deny the existence of such suffering just because one is not able to face it.

Advertisements
Detail of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sa...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If we agree that helping others when they are in need is one of most important ways to show kindness, can I propose, that it is impossible for those who are not able to “notice” the situations where others are in need of helps to offer helps, thus it is impossible for them to be kind?

In a couple of my previous posts I mentioned how I lost a few life time friends of mine during my middle age hazard. I also said I moved on, and I did. However, the recent unexpected visiting from one of these friends inevitably brought the issue back to table, and I just have a few more words to say, before I move on once again.


Despite of my tremendous joy to see my old friend, during our brief meetings, the frequently unpleasant remarks made by her about my chronic condition subdued my joy. To put it simple, not only she had no intention to know what exactly happened to me during past years, but also she tirelessly tried to “encourage” me to be “mentally tough” (even though lots of these remarks were made completely out of contexts), as if she had known me as a person who could never handle hard situation. At first I was only confused, later on I realized, despite the fact that we had not been together for over 20 years, she somehow already held a strong belief that my middle age health trouble was “mental”, so in a way I “exaggerated” my hardship. This belief was so strong that it was almost impossible for me to have any rational conversations with her. At the end, I had to think (or deduce) that the reason she held such headstrong belief of me might be also because it’s only way she could be free from feeling guilty for her not offering anything during my adversity, as I was always there when she needed (I also suggested this “idea” in my email to her after she left). This is selfishness, and it happened in my dear friend whom I knew since high school and kept friendship for over 30 years, I felt extremely disappointed.

But the real hard, or “wicked” part of this frustration of mine is this: deep inside me I know she didn’t mean to be so selfish. That’s why I tried so hard again and again, to explain, to save our friendship. Oh how I wish that she was just mean spirited or evil possessed, which could make me to move on by one “clean cut”. The fact is, she is simply incapable of some very simple logic reasoning, and her extremely limited life experience also made it impossible to understand my “story”. So at the end, I was angry, she was stupefied.

I think, most people are only capable of understanding things that they have experienced, or things under their scope of intelligence. That’s why humans are mostly divided by experience and beliefs. However, my experience told me, it is during those times when we face things outside of our experience and beliefs (or knowledge), can we truly tell whether we are open-minded or not.

My middle aged hazard was extremely unusual, it costed me not only health and financial wise, but also friendships, which were extremely important to me back then. I have no regret whatsoever, as I did nothing wrong in my communication among my friends, and I still believe they all are kind persons. However, this unusual experience did provide me an opportunity to learn human nature, to see how such kind persons could do “unkind” things under extraordinary context. This experience also taught me that in most life occasions, there is no clear boundary between good and evil, kindness and selfishness. Relativity, really is what I would consider as a general truth, at this point of my life.

About the question at the beginning of this post, my answer is positive: yes, a true kindness does require some intelligence. Good motives are not enough for this world free from evil. That’s why through history we see only wise people stood sidelines of massive stupidity, even cruel disasters, many of which might not take place had there not been participation of thoughtless majority.

It seems to me, that nowaday many people tend to relate intellectual ability to vice, believe that kindness is something independent from intelligence, but this is really not what my experience tells me. I think we should never underestimate what good intelligence can do, what evil ignorance can commit.

English: Common signs and symptoms of fibromya...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since most people take modern medicine as “absolute” (by saying that I mean, people believe modern medicine can take care of all physical illnesses, except fatal diseases like cancer), they easily consider the cause of unknown illnesses as “mental”. This is why we often see people try to “encourage” those who suffer invisible diseases to work “harder”, to push through, as if they are mentally weak individuals. I still remember once a kind lady’s first words to me after hearing my brief story: ” be tough.” I have to say, not only this is a wrong approach, but also offensive attitude (even an insult) toward those patients. Why, because one of primary reasons these people got so sick is precisely because they are mentally tough – so tough that they overdrew their energy, and their illnesses are nothing but the consequence of their mental toughness.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sign of narrow mindedness: disbelieve something just because you don’t understand it.

Children are comfortable with their ignorance, adults are not.

Book of love, was opened
by a gentle hand
page by page;
story of love, was told
by a tender voice
word by word –
texts drifted
voice whispered
chapters undulated
story lines intertwined
and when music quietly danced through,
they all scattered, like autumn leaves
along PATH
OF LOVE – woven by
rose
and thorns

Long time ago, a young man paid a visit to a Zen master, asking for truth. The master welcomed young man by some tea: he poured tea from tea pot into tea cup. When the cup was full, he continued pouring, so tea overflowed. The young man asked: “The cup is full, why are you still pouring?” Answered the master: “You are right. If the cup is full, I would not be able to pour fresh tea in. Same as our heads, if they are full, now new ideas could be put in. So, do you have an empty head?”

This is a legendary tale in Zen history. In life I realized, so often our existing beliefs or knowledge would not only prevent us from learning new knowledge, as this Zen story implies, they also distort our observation. Some time we think we saw “fact”, but we barely saw what we wanted to see. How I took this photo of gas light lamp is a perfect example:

One day I drove past an apartment gate I saw two gas light lamps hanging on each side of the stone gate. I decided to go back to take some pictures of them. In my memory, the frames of lamps were all black, and I was glad because the contrast between black lamp frames and stone gray background would make a perfect image. So I went back the second day with camera. To my disappointment, the lamp frames were not black, but steel gray, and they didn’t make good contrast against background as I anticipated. I wonder if the dust on lamp surface make lamps looked gray, but after I checked I found that’s not true, because it was rained earlier, the surface of lamps were perfectly clean. But why I remembered they were black? Then in a flash of moment I realized why: because all gas light lamps in my memory were black! That’s why! That’s how my “knowledge” distorted my observation: I “knew” gas light lamps were dark colored so I “saw” dark colored gas light lamps.

So this experience reminded me the Zen story of tea cup. I think the inspiration of this story is invaluable to human intelligence, that is, only when we empty our mind, put what we think we already knew aside, can we have fresh eyes for truth.

Blog Stats

  • 10,697 hits

Follow Yun Yi's Stuff on WordPress.com

Follow me on Twitter

© 2003 – 2014 Yun Yi

Protected by Copyscape Online Plagiarism Detector
PHILOSOPHY

Philosophy Blog Dedicated to Critical and Reflective Thinking

~ L to the Aura ~

sustainability. compassion. inspiration.

The Green World

the dilemmas of modern times

hessianwithteeth

This site is all about ideas

The Magician's Home

A house filled with thrills, mysteries and heart-wrenching secrets that will forever change the course of June Corpelle's life

Success Inspirers World

Land of opportunity where everyone is given an opportunity to grow

Credit Continue

Samantha Clarke

The Road

Obedience is Better Than Sacrifice

Audio SeXXX

Eargasms found here!

Natalie Breuer

Natalie. Writer. Photographer. Etc.

The Dystopian Nation of City-State

A cruel, futuristic vision created by science fiction authors James Courtney and Kaisy Wilkerson-Mills. ©2013-2016. All Rights Reserved. All writings available through Amazon.

KURT★BRINDLEY

Surmising with aplomb and nary remorse

GODINTEREST - Christian magazine covering faith, culture and life

Godinterest is a place to talk about God, Culture, Life and all that other stuff

Libretto

Expression of Thought through Words

Jesus Christ for Muslims Pakistan

Inviting Muslims To The Kingdom of Christ

Chris Brake Show Podcast

LIVE! Every Wednesday @ 8pm Eastern / 7pm Central on StrangeLabel.com

Critical Dispatches

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @RichyDispatch

justbadtiming

life as i know it

Eye-Dancers

A site devoted to the Young Adult sci-fi/fantasy novel The Eye-Dancers