Human beings possess an unrivaled ability to observe and catalog the strengths and weaknesses of their fellows. Some may argue that this is a vital component of the survival instinct but I have to wonder if this faith is not misplaced. Could it be that this finely-tuned ability did not evolve as a mechanism not for self-advancement, but is there by design to facilitate selfless service?
I’ve often considered our ability to size others up to be our greatest ally in the war against ignorance and arrogance. Every child, despite his innate wisdom, is born largely ignorant to the facts of life, information which must be obtained and organized if the child is to mature into a generative adulthood. As for adults, elements of ignorance such as holes in understanding, insensitivities, flat spots in character or false beliefs tend to coalesce into rigid structures that we call “arrogance.”
Both can be a challenge to deal with, but deal with them we must! Instead of viewing ignorance and arrogance as annoyances that we must tolerate or as weaknesses that we have the right to exploit, why not recognize that our keen sense of discernment was not meant to be a crude tool with which we pass judgment, but rather, a skeleton key capable of unlocking the warded locks of the human soul? We are here to liberate and complement one another, not to serve as judges, jurors and executioners of one another.
Whereas most who are as yet blind to this underlying responsibility of humanity would use another’s weaknesses as a justification for withdrawing their love through impatience, reaction or even self-righteousness, the opportunity to serve another with the same understanding is always present. In fact, how can you be effective in your quest to unlock the divinity in another without a clear understanding of what has been preventing it from manifesting until now?