I’m reading Swati Chopra’s Dharmashala dairies, where she has presented an interesting debate between the teacher Shantideva and a seeker–
The seeker “if someone makes public my faults while ignoring my good qualities, am I then justified in getting angry?”
Shantideva”if that is your reason for anger, then you should get equally upset if another is disparaged does that happen? No. if we bear the slander of others why do we angry when we ourselves are slandered?”
The seeker “others slanders are linked to their faults and qualities that is not connected with me. There situations are out of my control.”
Shantideva persists”the person who is slandering you is also out of control, because he is controlled by his emotions which too are dependent upon other factors. Since this is a situation dependent on other factors there is no reason for you to get angry.”
A very interesting outlook Hugh Prather once said people gossip to say”look I am not like that, I am above it.”
Earlier when people gossiped about me, I always told my mom, that it was a compliment after all no one kicked sleeping dogs, it meant I was relevant enough in their lives that they took time off their busy schedule to talk about me.
But today I realize, when I experience disdain for a person, it’s more because I fear the potential of that behaviour in me and I want to deny it. It must be the same for the other person a mirror of our shortcomings. We know what we need to overcome.