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Pointing out Others' Shortcomings with Compassion and Looking Within

September 21, 2009 |   By a practitioner in Israel

(Clearwisdom.net) Recently a practitioner emailed a question to our local practitioners asking, "Why is there such difficulty in pointing out other people's (practitioners' or non-practitioners') shortcomings with compassion?" I wrote a response, which she told me was helpful, of my own understanding and experience and I thought of sharing it with other practitioners.

From my experience, if something can't be pointed out with compassion, it is because it touches on my own issues. I've noticed that if a certain thing irritates me about another person, it is because I have unresolved issues, and it is less about the other person. What issues have I seen in myself? One is my wanting to change the world rather than myself--this includes improving the world and other people, improving situations, and trying to "right all the wrongs." I am learning that what is truly needed is learning to accept the world and people as they are, rather than trying to change them. When I am able to accept the world as it is, I find that oftentimes, the problem is no more. That is not to say that one should not point things out, but that it should be coming out of a place of acceptance, rather than denial and resistance.

Another is my wanting things to be done "my way," wanting the world to please me, rather than me accommodating the world. I am learning to let go, to compromise, to think about others' interests first. This is a challenge for me at this time. A practitioner pointed out to me the other day: "Do you want things to be done your way all the time?" Wanting to "change the world/people" is an attachment of control, and the attachment of control stems from an even deeper attachment of insecurity (fear). On the path of cultivation, I am learning to let go and follow Master's plan. Master has already planned the lives of Dafa disciples, what is there to fear or want to control? Our lives are rearranged and tied to cultivation.

Master said in "Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York,"

"If a person doesn't cultivate well and affects another Dafa disciple or a lot of other Dafa disciples, and causes their cultivation to fail, that is the severe sin of interfering with Dafa disciples' cultivation, one that cannot be absolved even after a being descends down to the eighteenth level of hell. Some students aren't able to remove their longstanding attachments, leading to their being interfered with by the evil. All of you are thinking that these people are done for and can't make it. Right now you can't look at it like that. Some students have in fact gotten rid of many other attachments, and a lot of attachments are gone and won't show themselves, but those attachments that they haven't cultivated away still show up. Master will definitely have those come out and be affected in conflicts, and will for sure have everyone see that, and the goal will be to have them get rid of those. When you see one, you need to point it out to them. If you don't point it out that is because you have an attachment of fearing to offend others. In that case, they will be made to have clashes and conflicts with you so that both you and him will recognize those attachments. And the goal is to cultivate away those human attachments. But when you look at the students who have attachments that show, you can't think that they're no good. So misunderstandings and mistakes among Dafa disciples are unavoidable. The key is that you can't have real conflicts and clashes among yourselves or start to mistrust one another."

Fearing to offend others, in my understanding, is a fear of not being loved or accepted if I hurt the other person. But what is truly hurt is not the being itself, but the post-natally acquired notions. What helps is the understanding that what I really want is found within myself, thus I am detached from "the other" in seeking validation, approval, love. When I am no longer a politician, wanting certain things from others, I can truly help others. But in most cases, if something can't be pointed out in compassion, it is because the other person's issues reflect my own.

This is my understanding at this current level, please point out anything incorrect.