Simple lessons can be learned from simple things.
The following is taken from the movie 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up (1995):
Colt, Rocky and Tumtum are 3 brothers who were ninja trained by their grandfather during summer break. So, one day they went to the pizza parlor and the bad guys started to mistreat this one girl. Being the people that they are – ninja trainees – they stick up for the girl and started to take down the bad guys.They won, and after the fight, they were praised by the customers at the restaurant.
However, their grandfather disapproves.
Here’s his conversation with the boys after the fight:
Grandpa : You’re gonna have to help pay for the damages to the pizza parlor.
Colt, Rocky & Tumtum: (to their dismay) What? They started it grandpa!
G : That’s besides the point. Let it be…
R : … a lesson to us.
G : So, you wanna be heroes, do you? Maybe, I should stop giving you your ninja lessons.
C, R,T: (in unison) NO!
C : You always said we should help people in need.
G : I did! but that’s not the part I’m worried about! You’re getting too cocky! Sit down! Listen, in helping others, so you can become heroes! That’s not helping them, that’s helping yourself! It’s a lie! Now this, (points to a flower in pot) is what I meant by a correct path for a ninja.
R : Flowers?
G : See this beautiful flowers? You must learn to be like them.
T : You mean stand up in dirt and smell good? (Colt and Rocky lightly hits him)
G : Very funny. Listen to the sound of the flower. It can teach you how to walk the correct path.
C : Do they speak english? (laughs)
G : Listen to them. Hear the sounds of the flowers blooming, only then, can you become a true ninja.
R : Why can’t you just tell us?
G : I can teach you a lot of things but some things, you have to learn by yourselves.
They then helped out at the parlor and go on helping the mistreated girl. It turns out that the girl’s father was kidnapped and was forced to disposing a disc that might turned down a corporation that helped built the town. So, basically, the mayor was also involved and somehow they were forced to help aid the bad guys.
I want to skip to the lesson point now.
So, after Colt, Rocky and Tumtum helped out everything, they rested at a park and Rocky looked at a flower, imagining it blooming, suddenly realising what their grandfather means.
They went back home to tell their grandfather:
G : How did it go?
R : Fine.
G : (watering his plants)
R : So, grandpa, what do the flowers say when you water them?
G : The same thing they say when they bloom… which is… ?
T : Nothing. They don’t want to show off how pretty they are. They just wanna be pretty. Right?
G : Right!
C, R, T: (elated)
Too many times, without realising, we tried helping others but in our own selfish way, like the praises given. That’s not helping others, that’s helping ourselves! We always see the actions we do, eventually, impact others and pride ourselves for doing it. When we are full of pride, the pride is our own worst enemy. So, here is another extract from the movie’s sequel, talking about pride.
This is from 3 Ninjas High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998 ).
G : A ninja’s journey is never over until he returns to where he came.
Sounds familiar? From Him we came, and unto Him we will return. We are the ninjas.
Anyways, back to the pride thing.
G : When a ninja’s head swells with pride, he becomes his own worst enemy. He loses focus. His spirit loses balance. He sees but he is blind. A ninja’s eyes can betray him. He must learn to trust his other senses. He must learn to see with his ears. He must be one with the environment.
Digest what grandpa says and you can get what our life is about. When pride takes in, we tend to fill ourselves with bubbles that we’re above others. We can see but what we see are always the good, that we forget to evaluate and patch OUR bad. Our judgment lies because our heads are swirling with pride which clouds the judgment we make.
He must be one with the environment.
Upbringings effect how each individual act. But we can’t always reason, “that’s why we are the way we are” when we do things that someone else disapproves. There is always room for change. What some see appropriate may not be to others. Accepting is the key to understanding. and only with understanding can there be tolerance. So, how can others accept when things that we do, make them feel dissatisfied? We have to understand the needs of others just like we want others to understand our needs. Provocation, pushing, constant nagging, negative presuming aren’t what make us one with the environment. Communication is the key to building relationships. Failed communication and failure to understand environment will not create a peaceful one. Start listening more, less on the talking. Talking a lot even if it is good, suffocates the listener. The listener sometimes just want to be the one listened to. He must learn to see with his ears.
Just adding in, time is the key to change. It is also the key to healing. Sometimes, all that is needed is space for people to think and evaluate. Bear in mind, each and everyone of us is NEVER above others in everything, so don’t act like one. No one will then listen to what we have to say.
So, let’s start changing ourselves by being one with our environment. Control our ego. Our pride. They could kill us from the inside slowly. Be like the flowers. Be useful, for the sake of being useful, for the sake of Allah and not to take anything in when we succeed because that could be our manifestation to pride which could possibly lead to Allah’s anger.
I write for myself before anyone else. Take whatever is good. Leave whatever that is bad.
* Please note that this writing only touches on how to treat people right. “Being one with the environment” doesn’t mean you have to be wrong to fit in, when you know that it is not the right thing to do. Religious beliefs always come first above anything. If it’s right, it’s right. Practice it. If it’s wrong, then drop it like a bad habit.