I still remember a line my mom used to deploy to discourage us, her little sons, from judging others. As kids, judging and passing a loose, critical comment about others came casually to most kids. We were no exception. But, every time our mom found us passing any loose comment about someone – his mistakes, misconduct or misdeeds – our mom would promptly remind us to mind our own. Yes, our own mistakes, misconduct or misdeeds. “He will give account (before God) for his conduct. You mind your own,” she would counsel.
Even today, like everyone else, judging, commenting and being critical of someone else’s mistakes, misconduct or misdeeds comes automatically to me. But, before I indulge much in it, my mom’s counsel comes to my rescue: “He will give account (before God) for his conduct; you mind your own!”
Sometimes, I wonder as to why this tendency in me to underline others’ faults and misdeeds… when I very well know that I have enough of my own. I also know that I detest when others are obsessed with mine… I do not like their hypocrisy. Still, I am tempted to catch others red-handed, pass comment on them, talk about their misdeeds to people around them… and, finally, mete out my own judgment!
Probably, that’s the way we try to cover up our own ‘sins’ – by highlighting others’!
What applies to me individually, also applies to us collectively - as a group, community or nation. We do the same thing, today, when we read or watch a report on any act of crime: a rape, a hate-speech, a scam, a controversial comment by a leader or a religious head, or whatever that we do not agree with or approve. We, instinctively react… and, start our own endless rounds of caustic comments … and mete out our own judgments. What would have, by all probability, passed off as a ship by the night, now comes to live in every drawing room, every PC or cell-phone… and, keeps polluting our consciousness.
“Apathy is dangerous,” we are warned, today, “wake up!”
I completely agree.
But, the apathy towards my own misconduct and
misdeeds is even more dangerous.
Not until I wake up to my own ‘sins’,
can I ever be able to wake up to my neighbor’s…
“The one amongst you who hasn’t sinned, let him cast the first stone,” Christ had declared to the hypocrites who had dragged a prostitute before Him and wanted to know what He thought of the woman: whether she deserved to be stoned or deserved to be forgiven.
My simple mom in our village knew how fallible and sinful her little sons were. That’s why she wanted us to drop our stones…
And go away… minding our own ‘sins’!
Pic.: Amrita Jeurkar