The first necessity is to abstain from thinking of anyone in a depreciatory way. When we meet a person, our criticising thoughts give to him, so to say, a blow on the nose which naturally creates a revolt in him. It is our mental formation that acts like a deforming mirror to that person, and then one would become queer even if one were not. Why cannot people remove from their minds the idea that somebody or other is not normal? By what criterion do they judge? Who is really normal? I can tell you that not a single person is normal, because to be normal is to be divine.
One must have a sympathetic outlook and learn to cooperate with one’s fellows, building them up and helping them instead of sneering at whatever seems not up to the mark.
Even if somebody has a deficiency and is hypersensitive and self-willed, you cannot hope to improve him by summary measures of compulsion or expulsion. Do not try to force his ego by your own, by behaving according to the same pattern. Guide him gently and understandingly along the lines of his own nature. See whether you can place him where he can work without coming into conflict with others.
If those who are in power are puffed up with their own importance, they disturb the true working. Whatever their abilities, their achievement is not the real thing.
With our own perfection grows in us a generous understanding of others.
Do not trouble yourselves with what others do, I cannot repeat it to you too often. Do not judge, do not criticise, do not compare. That is not your lookout.
You have no right to judge a man unless you are capable of doing what he does better than himself.
Be severe to yourself before being severe to others.
Do not mind the stupidity of others, mind your own.
In human life the cause of all difficulties, all discords, all moral sufferings, is the presence in everyone of the ego with its desires, its likes and dislikes. Even in a disinterested work which consists in helping others, until one has learned to overcome the ego and its demands, until one can force it to keep calm and quiet in one corner, the ego reacts to everything that displeases it, starts an inner storm that rises to the surface and spoils all the work.
This work of overcoming the ego is long, slow and difficult; it demands constant alertness and sustained effort. This effort is easier for some and more difficult for others…
As long as I was physically present among you all, my presence was helping you to achieve this mastery over the ego and so it was not necessary for me to speak to you about it individually very often.
But now this effort must become the basis of each individual’s existence, more especially for those of you who have a responsible position and have to take care of others. The leaders must always set the example, the leaders must always practise the virtues they demand from those who are in their care; they must be understanding, patient, enduring, full of sympathy and warm and friendly goodwill, not out of egoism in order to win friends for themselves, but out of generosity so that they may understand and help others.
To forget oneself, one’s own likings and preferences, is indispensable in order to be a true leader.
That is what I am asking of you now, so that you can face your responsibilities as you should. And then you will find that where you used to feel disorder and disunity, they have vanished, and harmony, peace and joy have taken their place.
— The Mother