Love with eyes of equality

It is imperative first to see a person as a human being before we see them with the relationship label we put on them. For example, as a mother, father, spouse, child, co-worker, boss, friend, enemy, etc. As human beings, we must remember that every person wants happiness and does not want the slightest suffering, the same way as oneself. And this applies to every person in this world, whether they are our friends, foes, or neutral!

However, once we put a relationship label on the other person, we start to take several things for granted from that person. As soon as we put a relationship label, we set certain expectations from that person that makes our love and care conditional to fulfilling these expectations. And these expectations put a veil on the fundamental understanding of every being wanting happiness and not wanting to suffer.

For example, during one of my trips on a train, I saw a couple travelling together. When the feet of the woman, seemingly unintentionally, hit another passenger, the husband ardently apologized to the other passenger, who was a stranger to them. But, on the contrary, he severely scolded his wife about the incident. If you think about it, such a minor accident didn’t even hurt the stranger and was most probably unintentional. But because the husband didn’t have a relationship label tagged to the stranger, he could immediately react in a way he would expect others to respond to him. However, his reaction toward his wife seemed somewhat reckless and thoughtless, not even giving a moment’s thought to how his wife would feel being shouted at in front of so many strangers.

Similar incidents happen all the time with a lot of people because we totally forget to see that other person as equal to ourselves, the moment we put a relationship tag on them.

That is why it is of utmost importance for harmonious and happy relations to first see the other person as an equal human being and then with the relationship label. If we can understand and see every being with eyes of equality as equal human beings, loving and caring for others will naturally be unconditional, and our acceptance level will increase.

For example, no successful marriage is between two perfect people. Still, when a spouse accepts the other as they are and recognize the equality of each other’s emotions, wishes, and opinions, it will probably be a happy relationship.

With eyes of equality, we can see others beyond the label of rich, poor, powerful, beautiful, ugly, husband, wife, children, parents, etc. To remove the veil of this labelling that makes our love and care conditional, we should always ask ourselves if we are treating others the way we want
to be treated by others. If you feel that you have been positive, you should rejoice and continue. On the other hand, suppose you have been unappreciative and unkind to others. In that case, you may regret your actions but remember that there is no benefit in replaying it repeatedly in your mind because there is no point in worrying about what cannot be changed. On the contrary, it is rather important to concentrate on how we can improve our relationships through the development of seeing with eyes of equality!

Without such a way of looking at others, sometimes we are blind to the pain and suffering of people nearest and closest to us and often the last to find out what they are going through.

I hope we can start seeing everyone as equal to ourselves and see the person behind the labels we or the society have defined.

Gyalwa Dokhampa

Gyalwa Dokhampa Jigme Pema Nyinjadh is a Buddhist master of the Drukpa Order and a writer. His ef- forts in carrying forward the teach- ings of the Buddha, in particular, the Drukpa Order, strongly emphasize integrating Buddhist principles into people’s day-to-day life experiences. He is also an advocate of environ- mental conservation, gender equal- ity, and vegetarianism.