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July 08, 2020

More than meets the eye

By Kyaw Thura

Most of us are inclined to simply follow the crowd and not rock the boat, which is unfortunate if unscrupulous people come to power and exercise nepotism. Our failure to speak out remains a major problem.
Fortunately, the solution is simple. If we no longer wish to tolerate things we assume to be unchangeable, the only thing we have to change is our mindset to this supposed impermeability.
As we speak, political candidates are broadcasting campaign speeches to inform us of what they’ll do if they come to power. It is imperative for us to keep a watchful eye on them, but it is important to also decode the messages behind their words. The following stories prove why there is often more to something than meets the eye.
One day a man was informed by his staff that monks were playing chinlone in the complex grounds of the monastery building he donated. Upon hearing the news, the donor went straight to the monastery and saw a few monks playing chinlone. But when he went inside the monastery, he saw hundreds of monks engrossed in their studies. The donor went home and scolded his staff for being unable to see the studious monks.
Another incident involved a crowd of laymen visiting a monastery at noon. They were disappointed to see that the majority of monks were napping and only a few studying. The visitors paid homage to the studying monks, assuming they were the hard-working ones. They were taken aback when a prominent senior monk told the men that they should have paid their respects to the sleeping monks. Why? The monks were studying because they’d just failed a test. The sleeping monks had passed and were permitted to rest.
Indeed, making snap judgments on first impressions can prevent us from seeing the real truth.


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