Master, please help me with the following:
1. You explained that “everyone insists on being right”. Then when we are right and others are wrong, what should we do? If they are in the wrong and if we don’t prove it to them, then aren’t they continuing to err? How should I behave in those circumstances? Usually, people try to explain once to those who are wrong and then give up if they don’t get it. Personally, I’d try to explain once or twice before I remain silent and let them decide for themselves. Is that OK?
2. I often pity others. When I see them suffer I feel very sad even though there is little that I can do for them. Sometimes there are some who hurt me but if I see that they are suffering, then I yield to them. This makes me indecisive and wishy-washy in my relationships. Please teach me how I can stop this kind of behavior that shows a weakness in character.
I’ll try but you have to promise me to stop thinking that I know everything:
1. You should stop trying to convince others that you’re right, especially when they are wrong. For example, if your father is wrong, what makes you qualified to tell him he’s wrong?
As a rule of thumb, you should refrain from telling others your opinion unless they sincerely ask for it three times. This is out of profound respect for them. Everyone deserves the right to suffer and insist on suffering, especially when they are wrong. Let’s not meddle in their karmic retributions.
Instead, you may want to switch to being supportive of their wrong decisions and try to be there for them when they are at the end of their rope. Only then may they be more receptive to changes and to your advice.
2. Your compassion is most commendable. I see nothing wrong in yielding to others at all. I’d rather be weak and good than strong but un-compassionate.
On the other hand, if you really want to help others, then dedicate your life to that pursuit. Go acquire skills that can truly help relieve others’ suffering. I must warn you that in order to become skilled in helping others, you yourself must be prepared to suffer greatly: you must be prepared to give up what’s most important to you before you can muster the strength of character and unfold true wisdom to help others.