Courage & strength of character

We need to be aware of our aversion to blame and criticism as it prevents us from accepting feedback and failures which are crucial in our growth as an individual.

How did we last respond to being blamed or faulted?  How did we last respond to admonishment from our elders and teachers?  We abhor moments when our ideas and work are “threatened” and we usually respond with aversion and anger when our notion of “self” is challenged.

It is instinctive for us to avoid criticism and scolding by deflecting blame, justifying our mistakes, or avoiding taking up of roles altogether so that we do not have to face failure.  However, our strength of character deteriorates rapidly when we cower from responsibilities and focus on safeguarding our ‘self’.  Have we realised that a risk not taken is an opportunity lost?

For us to overcome this hurdle, we should assess what needs to be done in every situation and if we have the ability to step up and take on these responsibilities.  When we are guided by selfless intention and work to the best of our abilities, we will suffer no qualm or regret.  Instead, it is more likely that others see our efforts and acknowledge our labours even if the result is not perfect.

As practising Buddhists on the Dhamma path, it is also key for us to step outside of our comfort zone and explore what is unfamiliar to us.  The most basic task is for us to recognise unwholesome habits and resolutely replace them with good ones.  Let us not recoil anymore by making excuses for our transgressions.  To honour our great Teacher, the Buddha, we need to hone our courage to overcome the conditions which bind us to our existence in Samsara; and with the overcoming, we attain liberation.