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(33) Drijf dingen niet op de spits  

Punt VI -wees vaardig in relaties

Don’t bring things to a painful point—Don’t humiliate others.

The way we treat injured people is very natural and logical, but the logic is essentially faulty. Instead of noting that a terrible person is terrible and, based on this, treating him as if he were terrible, it would be much better to treat the person with tremendous kindness exactly because he is so terrible. Doesn’t this make more sense? We think it is natural, and emotionally true, to be kind and sweet to people who are kind and sweet and to be terrible to terrible people. But it should be just the opposite. If we have to be denigrating and mean, it is better to be denigrating and mean to kind, sweet people, because it probably won’t bother them so much; or if it does bother them, it won’t ruin them completely, because they are already kind and nice, and although they may be somewhat hurt by our disrespect, it probably won’t ruin their character. If we are kind and sweet to someone who is terrible and who, because of being terrible, is conditioned to being treated that way, our kindness might change him, it might surprise him, it might even shock him into better behavior.

And what about when we take the process I am describing here and turn it on ourselves: believing we are terrible people, we treat ourselves like terrible people and become more and more terrible as a result.

Vertrouw er op dat zaken ook zonder provocatie en spitsvondigheid door anderen worden gehoord.

Don’t make everything so painful.

When things are painful with other people or within your own mind, try to identify the actual pain and the actual problem. Then focus on that. Try not to elaborate on it with too much complaining or a proliferation of thinking or words and deeds that will make it worse.

Don’t put a head on top of your head. One head is enough

(vrij naar Norman Fischer, Training in compassie – Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong en de zenlessen van Arthur Nieuwendijk, Zen.nl Amsterdam)

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