A talented Chinese Canadian poet, Kavan Yao wrote a poem called “hands” (from his bilingual book called “China Feeling” translated by his mom, Dr. Hongyun Chen) bringing me back to when I started to have a crush on my wife many years ago:
“I wish I could speak with my hands and let you touch this life I have wrapped in my feeling. Meaning, always, seems a struggle; all my sincerity gets lost in those centimeters between my mind and my tongue. Somewhere in all the heartache of language living between this misery and the next – there was someone I wanted, and to her, there was so much I would have said. When I look at my hands, shy and upspeaking, and I think about all the people who I never reach and have forgotten: I worry that one day after all these words my mouth could not create I might forget her as well.”
I do not know what happened to Kavan later, but I took the courage to tell her about my feeling & love for her.
My friends, do not wait for the touch of your life wrapped in your feeling. But speak and invite, let your feeling touch your lover’s life!
Perception refers to our sensory experience of the world. Through this experience, we gain information about the environment around us. Perception molds, shapes, and influences our experience of our personal reality. Dr. Linda Humphreys believes that “Perception is merely a lens or mindset from which we view people, events, and things.”
For Buddhism, we have the following six perceptions: sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, and mind. In her book “Small Bites: Mindfulness For Everyday Use”, she wrote:
“The Buddha points out that wherever there are perceptions, there will be deceptions, which will eventually lead to suffering. When you ask fifteen people the same question about the same situation, you’ll probably end up with fifteen different stories…So many arguments in relationships are caused by different perceptions. Instead of insisting on being right – an attitude that leads to suffering on both sides – you can simply smile at each other and say, ‘Oh we obviously have very different perceptions.’ Thich Nhat advises that you should always ask two questions about your perceptions: “Can I be sure that my perception is correct?’ and ‘Can I really be sure?’…Only mindfulness of your perceptions and an ongoing exchange with others will help you see how many different perceptions may actually exist in one situation.”
We may need to cope with negative people in our daily life. In his book “The Tao of Daily Life”, Derek Lin has offered us the way to handle negative people:
“Criticizing others while being unaware of their own faults is something that many people do. We can even say that it is something we all do from time to time…when people lash out at us with venomous criticism, we should not accept it passively. We should certainly protect ourselves by putting some distance between us and them if at all possible; protect ourselves in other ways if not. The crucial point is that we can do so without feeling offended or insulted because these people are simply being themselves. It is their nature to be critical and judgmental, so it would be absurd for us to take offense, It would be pointless to get angry.”
The question for you and I to ask ourselves at first is if we have recognized and accepted our negative nature. We have to keep ourselves away from being negative toward ourselves and others.
When I got out of my car, I saw the gentleman coming in my direction with the lady. They are living in my neighborhood. The man takes the lady’s hand and walks with her several times each day. The man looks like he is in his 70s, and the lady looks like his mom. The man greeted me and asked me if I am a priest. I told him I am an Anglican priest. He told me that he’s Catholic and asked me to pray for the lady. The lady’s his wife and has been suffering from dementia for years. I told him it is a blessing for his wife to have such a caring husband. The husband replied that he has been trying his best with smiles and tears. I prayed with/for them and blessed them. The husband again holds her hand and left with peace. I was touched by their love, and I am going to hold my wife’s hand when we see each other this evening.
When I am reading “Just for today” (one of the textbooks for the Narcotics Anonymous group) this morning, I am reminded that “Though I may be feeling low, I don’t need to tear someone down to build myself up…The way to build our self-esteem is not to tear others down but to build them up through love and positive concern. To help us with this, we can ask ourselves if we are contributing to the problem or to the solution. Today, we can choose to build instead of destroy”.
Today, I choose to build. What/how about you? What/how about tomorrow?