As I am studying psychology, I find it interesting to see similarites and differences between psychology and sikhi. These days I am having a subject about perspectives, and as I attended more and more lectures, I got more and more excited how this met with Sikhism. When reading psychology, the study of the human mind, you meet with a lot of different viewpoints; for example you can view the human from a thoughts-point of view (cognitive psychology) or from a biological point of view (neuropsychology). What is right and what is wrong? How can you say that one point of view is more correct than the other? Can you say to someone who belongs to another dicipline than you, that he is wrong?
Different perspectives are not something special for psychology – we deal with it in our daily lives. We meet a lot of different people every day, and all these people have different perspectives about life. Many of their views may contradict ours, and some may be similar to ours. Let us take “to find a lifepartner” as an example. Norwegians have a proverb saying that similar kids play best together, but on the other hand I have also heard that differences attract – positives and negatives attract. What does this illustrate? Well, it illustrates that we all have different perspectives. So if you feel the Norwegian proverb is right, and you meet someone who feels the other view is right, how do you approach that person? Do you argue that you are right and the other person is wrong? Can you actually say that what this person thinks about finding a lifepartner is wrong? No. You can’t. Because that person is right. From his or her perspective, that person is right. You may prefer the Norwegian proverb, but that is your perspective.
How does this relate to sikhi? || Hum nahi change bura nahi koe || I am not good; no one is bad || Right, wrong, good and bad are all illusions. Who are we to judge who is right, wrong, good or bad? We can only give our perspective of what is the right thing to do and what is the wrong thing, who are good and who are bad. The people we are meeting may not have the same perspectives as us on what is right, wrong, good or bad. Judging another person is actually of no use. Instead of judging, maybe we should get a bit detached from our own perspective and try to stand in the other persons footsteps and try to see his or her perspective. We may not share the same perspective, but maybe we should respect the other perspective instead of going into the “judging-dilemma”. This is also important in a clinical setting. As psychologists, we are going to meet clients who have a different views and perspectives on life than you. If you are religious and look at issues with a religious point of view, it isn’t necessary that your client will do the same. So in a clinical setting it’s important to have a understanding that you are meeting a humanbeing with probably a different perspective than your own. You have to see the world through the client’s eyes and respect his or her viewpoints. You may not agree, but you have to be humble and remember that you cannot judge what is right and what is wrong; everyone is right in their own place.
I am not perfect. I judge, but I am trying to get away from this illness. Because in the end it is not your or anyone elses judgements that counts. The judge is God. In the end it is you and God. But why do we want to wait for the end? Think of this day, this moment as your last, and stop judging. Don’t wait for the moment you are dying. Make the relation with God now. Don’t wait till the end. I am not talking to you only, I am talking to myself too.
Let’s imagine a scene. You are lying there on the deathbed and regretting your arguments, your judgements, the faults you have done in your life. You are regretting of being caught in all those illusions. Why experience this scene when you can do something about it now? Let’s together make the step to try to respect other perspectives than our own, and as a consequence, stop judging others. Let them be. It’s their life. You have enough to do with yourself; controlling your vices, becoming a better person and getting more connected with the Now.