August 16, 2002 Evening, Lighthouse Center Oregon
We should not criticize anybody. If we do criticize somebody, what will be the effect on that person whom we criticize? It will have a good effect. What was your reason for criticizing him? To push that person down and to damage him. But by this process you have not succeeded in bringing him down, in fact, you have relieved him of much of the effect of his bad action—if he had actually done it. If he had not, he is blessed with something much better. In either case, your intention would not be fulfilled. Your intention was to make yourself feel that you are great and wonderful and the other one is low and horrible. You criticized him so that you could appear to be very nice and wonderful; but that was not achieved, because when you criticize somebody, all the negative things that were in the other one then come to you. If you claim that someone is bad due to certain actions of his, those actions then come to you, and so you become bad. The other one is saved.
In this way, the habit of speaking ill of others is so terrible, so hard, that most of us who do bad things feel very little of the effect of our own sins. Most of our life is full of the negative effects of criticizing others. Wherever two or three people are together, they talk negatively about somebody who is not present, and everyone enjoys it.
Lord Christ said, “My dear disciples, I will wash your feet.”
Then the disciples asked, “Dear Master, we should wash your feet. Why do you wash our feet?”
He answered them, “So that you may do to others the same as I do to you. You should learn from my actions so that you can call yourselves my good disciples.”
To wash the feet of someone means: “It is you who are to be clean, you are to be benefited. If I can be of any service to you, I will do it. I am the lowest one.” Usually, the more important one or older one is to be served and the younger one, the lesser one, is to serve. But to become the greater one, you are to serve others. If others serve you, then you lose. You do not remain the same.
—Sant Thakar Singh