A king visited a prison in his kingdom and talked with the prisoners. Each one insisted on his innocence except for one man who confessed to a theft.
“Throw this rascal out of the prison!” cried the king, “He will corrupt the innocents!”
Source: An old Hasidic story retold my
Louis Newman in The Hasidic Anthology (Schocken Books, 1963)
It is a simple story which looks at our willingness to see the wrong in others and condemn them and yet be blind to our sins. The prayer comes to mind ‘Give me the grace creator God to see myself as others see me’.
Being set free starts by admitting that we are not as innocent as we would like to believe!
A rabbi asked his students, “When is it at dawn that one can tell the light from the darkness?”
One student replied, “When I can tell a goat from a donkey.”
“No,” answered the rabbi.
Another said, “When I can tell a palm tree from a fig.”
“No,” answered the rabbi again.
“Well, then what is the answer?” his students pressed him.
“Only when you look into the face of every man and every woman and see your brother and your sister,” said the rabbi. “Only then have you seen the light. All else is still darkness.”
Source | Johann Christoph Arnold, Seeking Peace
(Plume, 2000) page 103
“We can’t go around measuring our goodness by what we don’t do by what we deny ourselves, what we resist and who we exclude. I think we’ve got to measure goodness by what we embrace, what we create and who we include.” | from the ‘Chocolat’
Who is it that you are still excluding from the circle of your compassion?