Lojong Slogan #25: Don’t Talk About Injured Limbs

Don’t draw attention to, don’t dwell on, don’t emphasize others’ injuries, defects or¬†weaknesses. But on the other hand. we are not advised to ignore injuries or defects or pretend that they don’t exist and everything is OK. On the contrary, our practice teaches us that very often things are decidedly NOT OK, but we take those things as we find them. This slogan is no different. It tells us to be aware and to understand the defects– physical, mental, spiritual, societal, ecperiential–as part of the person. Take people at face value and rely on your own insights to determine what type of person they are, but do not judge them by their faults.
When we meet a stray dog. the animal may be unkempt, with missing fur, skin infections, malnourished and so forth, but we do not judge the dog by these defects. Over time, with proper care, many of these defects are fixable and reversible. The same is absolutely true of people. We cannot know, in a brief encounter, what has happened to these people before we met them. Their faults may be loud and fully on display, but we must not judge them according to this. Instead, we must be able to see the faults, and yet also see beyond them.
Like Ganesha’s broken tusk, our outward imperfections have nothing to do with our inner perfection or our level of advancement in our practice or on our path.