There was a couple. They had been married for forty years. The man worried about his wife as he clearly felt that she was losing her sense of hearing. However, she would not believe him whenever he told her that. So, he approached his doctor and shared his concern. He asked if there was any method he could use to confirm and prove it to her that she indeed did need a hearing aid.
The physician told him about a little exercise to check how bad her hearing was. He advised him to loudly call out for his wife from a distance of sixty feet. If his wife answered back that would mean her hearing was perfectly alright. If not, he was to come closer to her and try the same again from fifty feet. And if he still did not get any reply back, he was to reduce the distance by another ten feet, and then another ten feet and so on until he was only ten feet away.
The man understood and went home. His wife was in the kitchen at the time.
“Honey, what’s for dinner tonight?” shouted he from a distance of sixty feet from the other room.
There was no reply.
“Honey! what are you making for dinner tonight?” said he loudly from feet fifty now.
There came no reply still. His heart pounded. He knew he was right.
“Love, what are we having for dinner tonight?” he asked again. This time from forty feet.
The wife maintained her quietude. The man tried from thirty and then twenty feet without any success.
“Honey! are you making anything for dinner tonight?” he asked one last time, just ten feet away.
“Love, what’s wrong with you? Why are you shouting?” the missus said calmly, “I’ve already answered you five times that I’m making pasta tonight!”
Sometimes, you are so sure, so convinced that the other person is at fault, that, they should really mend themselves, and that, they don’t listen to you. However, this may be a biased perspective, it may only be your viewpoint, not shared by the other person or the rest of the world. It could easily be that you are not listening to the other person. Some even have two sets of rules. All it takes is a bit of self-reflection, self-dialog to see trees from woods.
When we are so sure of our own beliefs, when we cling onto them without a reasonable basis, we become closed. We lose our independence of a free thought, of objective thinking, of penetrating analysis. The preceding generation passes on their beliefs to the next. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are all true. It is prudent sometimes to put your own beliefs to test, you may gain a different perspective, a whole new world may open up for you.
There was a man on a journey once going to a town he had never been to before. He came to a river. There was no bridge in sight and he did not know swimming. While he was wondering how to get across, he saw a monk on the other side of the river.
He gestured to the monk and asked loudly, “How do I get to the other side?”
“You are already on the other side, dear.” The monk replied with a big grin.
A viewpoint is a subjective notion. It is dependent on your beliefs, circumstances, situation and thought process. To understand other person’s viewpoint, a certain degree of effort is required to get into their shoes, to see the world through their eyes, to hear the sounds through their ears. You might just find out what’s for dinner in the first call then.
Om Swami is a monk living in the Himalayan foothills. An advanced yogin, well versed in the science of mantra, sacred syllables, tantra, esoteric practices, and meditation, you can visit his blog on omswami.com.
Photo credit: ‘Relationships” by Big Stock