[Back to Index]

Green Eggs & Sham

Aug 8, 2005

?Do you like
green eggs and ham?
I do not like them,
I do not like
green eggs and ham?
- from Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr Suess

Sometimes I catch myself wearing a gaudy kind of goodness. The kind that brings itself it show-and-tell. Puts itself in italics in order to stand out from the regular print of the rest of the world. On some days I can see the falseness of that. It shouldn?t have to be about juxtaposition. Sitting next to what?s wrong is one way to feel right- but is it really? Manohar Uncle likes to say how living life is like playing cards. He doesn?t much care for the hand he?s been dealt. But boy does he Love the game. And maybe you?ve heard that said before- but- for me it takes on new meaning when the man saying it is an almost blind artist whose wife, Mahema Auntie on May 1st of this year completed exactly one half (and that?s thirty-two years) of her whole life as a paraplegic. And right now I am thinking maybe life is a card game. We?re sitting in our circle studying our hands and each others? faces. Because winning (in limited circumstances) means being able to call the next person?s bluff. But what I want to learn is- how do I call my own bluff?

Do you like green eggs and ham?
I do not like them

Interviewed a young Muslim woman awhile ago for the book. She is a 22 year-old refractionist from a small village where girls of her age and faith are seldom allowed beyond the four walls of their homes. She talks of the first time she attended a bhajan session at her new workplace and her initial hesitation as a staunch Muslim to even sit in. She said she went and listened to the talk that first evening- and found there was so much goodness in it. So she told herself- if something Good is being said, does it really matter who?s saying it? She adds frankly, In my faith we don?t believe in idol-worship. But I visit the meditation room here everyday and sit there in front of the pictures of those saints. If I am open and they are able to transform something in me for the better- why should I resist that?
Listening to her I wondered, with all my ?Higher Education? and world exposure- am I anywhere near as wise as this young women with her serious mouth and smiling eyes?
I can be so close-minded, so arrogant sometimes about choosing my teachers. I want them to pass the tests and match the standards I set (and don?t meet) for Perfection. Why?
So let?s say they aren?t perfect. Do I lack the humility to be schooled by the flawed?
Sometimes: Yes.
A journey that validates itself by pointing fingers. That and That and That and That and That are Not my Way. Do I insist on letting the shortcomings of others define my virtue?
Sometimes: Yes
Do I not understand that everything I see wrong on the outside is a tip-off to what?s wrong on the inside?
Sometimes: Yes.

I am beginning to learn- very (very) slowly- how carefully one must deal with other people?s failings. Because when you confuse them with your own then the Ego subtly takes over with its need to establish the false superiority of some kinds of separateness.

There are people you meet who are gentle with your faults- almost to the point of blindness. This can be comforting- but beyond a point- not particularly helpful. And then there are those rare people who blend that gentleness with honesty- and that honesty is as much (oftentimes more) with themselves as it is with you. So that in their criticism there is no room for resentment?s reaction and much room for quiet reflection?I am beginning to see though- how much sincerity it takes to be able to see it that way.

(So much more than I imagined- depends solely on one?s Sincerity.)

So maybe that then is what I need to work towards step by step.
A total and tireless sincerity.

(Because I do not like green eggs and sham. I do not like them. Sam-I-am)

[Back to Index]


Projects I'm Involved With

"Service doesn't start when you have something to give; it blossoms naturally when you have nothing left to take."

"Real privilege lies in knowing that you have enough."