By Cheng Xi
A little goldfish was with his friends, but he thought everyone didn’t suit his book. So he left his friends quietly and went elsewhere. On his way, he met a frog who asked him in some perplexity, “Where are you going alone? Why do you leave your companions?” “Don’t mention them. Each of them all has lots of problems. They are too hateful and I don’t want to play with them anymore.” he said angrily. After hearing this, the frog said, “You’d better reflect on yourself and solve your own problems first! Or anywhere is all the same to you.”
The little goldfish in the story was pitiful and sad. He didn’t reflect on his own problems, but always blamed and complained to his companions bitterly, thinking they had so many problems that he couldn’t get along with them. At this time, I think of us. How many times are we like this little goldfish in our daily lives? When encountering something, we incline to grumble to others, instead of knowing ourselves. Even if among one family, we are still full of blame and complaints, unable to get on with each other. For example: A husband is always grumbling that his wife shows little empathy and consideration for him, while his wife often condemns him for he doesn’t give enough kindness, consideration, and care to her; a mother-in-law is always railing against her daughter-in-law about her unthrifty housekeeping and lacking in filial duty, while the daughter-in-law constantly complains, saying that her mother-in-law is too captious, not regarding her as a member of the family; the parents continually reproach their children for being so disobedient that they are worried sick by them, while the children are always grumbling at their parents about controlling everything of them and depriving of their freedoms; friends, fellows, and brother and sister also always blame and grumble to each other for giving too much while gaining too little. When there are some conflicts in our contact with others, we merely blindly blame others, pointing a weapon at someone else entirely, and try to reason and get justice from others … Each of us sees ourselves as an innocent victim and has sufficient reasons to blame and complain to others. Because of such complaints, the interpersonal tension is growing. There is no longer any understanding and tolerance between people, and human relations have become full of hostility and enmity. For this, we usually live in misery. We are also eager to live in amity with the relatives and friends around us and to love each other. However, without exception, we are all hurting one another. Whatever makes us always live in the complaints and reproof?
These questions were confusing me all the time. Afterward I saw God’s words say, “Satan corrupts and controls man, and man acts under the corrupt disposition of Satan, and inhabits a world that is corrupted by Satan and lives among corrupt people. The masses are unwittingly possessed and assimilated by Satan and man therefore has the evil nature of Satan. … Man has suffered from Satan’s corruption for thousands of years and so man has become arrogant and extraordinarily conceited, and he has become deceitful, malicious, and unreasonable, right? All these things are brought about due to Satan’s nature.” “Because man has accepted the evil, arrogant, and malicious nature of Satan, inevitably in man’s interpersonal relationships there is often conflict, often arguments and incompatibility, which is created as a result of Satan’s arrogant nature” (“God Himself, the Unique V”).
God’s words expose the root cause of our people’s being unable to get along well with each other. Since being corrupted by Satan, we have accepted the evil and malicious thinking of Satan, and we have been dominated by the toxins of Satan such as “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” “I am my own Lord throughout heaven and earth,” “Those who submit will prosper; those who resist shall perish,” etc. Therefore, we all become extraordinarily selfish and self-interested, arrogant, and face-saving. We hold too much hate for others, while we give so little love to them and don’t know how to tolerate and forgive others. When things happen, we always consider ourselves in the right. In the dictionary of our life, there is no word “knowing ourselves”. We can’t stand in another’s shoes, but rather take our own meaning as the yardstick for measuring right and wrong. Thus we will bicker endlessly, blame and complain to others once something against our will befalls us, when interacting with others. Even if we know we’ve made some mistakes, when others point them out, we still don’t accept, but rather do our best to make excuses for ourselves. Accordingly, as time passes, we can’t give our hearts to others and human relationships reach an impasse. Then what can we do to change such situation, when facing these problems?
Thesays, “And why behold you the mote that is in your brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye? Or how will you say to your brother, Let me pull out the mote out of your eye; and, behold, a beam is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then shall you see clearly to cast out the mote out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:3-5).
God says, “Everyone has small faults and foibles and they all have some things that are characteristic to them; they can all be self-righteous, weak and lacking. You should therefore help others with a loving heart, be tolerant, be forbearing and don’t be too harsh or make a fuss over every tiny detail” (“To Attain the Truth, You Must Learn From the People, Matters, and Things Around You”).
These words show us the path of practice. If we want to get on well with others, we should view others’ shortcomings correctly—Not to make a harsh demand of others, but to learn to tolerate and forbear with them. Especially when we have disagreements with others, we should first reflect on ourselves and solve our own problems, and should not fixate our eyes on others. When we practice in this way, we will gradually discover we are not better than others and that the problems are more serious in us than in others. Thus we will naturally understand and forbear with others and the corrupt disposition of Satan is incapable of controlling us. Then we will be freed from the enmity and complaints, and the relationship with the people around us will become more and more proper.
God also says, “The truth is related to the life of normal humanity. It can correct all kinds of your bad tendencies and habits, bad and negative thoughts. It can change your satanic disposition and all sorts of things in you that belong to Satan, become your life, and allow you to become proper and have humanity. It will change you so that your thinking and your heart are proper, you possess reason, and you are proper in every aspect” (“Only Putting the Truth Into Practice Can Cast off the Binds of a Corrupt Disposition”). We have been deeply corrupted by Satan. If we want to get along well with others and live out the likeness of a normal man, the most important thing is to allow the truth to be our life and use the truth to correct our thinking and point of view so that our arrogant and conceited corrupt disposition can be taken away. Only in this way can our conscience and reason gradually return to normal, and can we learn to forgive, forbear, and understand others. At that time, we will become more and more harmonious in the dealings with others, thus we will get rid of the complaints like that of the little goldfish.