Chapter3-3 : “Liking” and “disliking” are functions of a given person’s convenience and self-interes
Very sociable when you’re out, kind and friendly and full of energy, but feeling utterly tired when you go home— doesn’t that sound familiar?
When we’re in the midst of lots of other people, we tire ourselves out by trying to be friendly to everyone.
If you want to be liked by everyone, you become unable to say what you want to say.
You can only express views that no one could disagree with, and as a result, your human relationships become shallow.
You suppress your real feelings and put up with a lot, and in the end, people say things like,
“He just goes along with what people around him say.He’s got no ideas or opinions of his own.” Or, “He’s got no individuality—what a bore!”
So you made a great effort, yet ended up with a poor result.
Of course we want to be well thought of by others, and it makes us uneasy to know that someone dislikes us.
But to be liked by everyone is quite impossible.
Shakyamuni Buddha said: “There is no one who is praised by everyone and no one who is reviled by everyone.”
In other words, no matter how splendid a person might be, not everyone will like him; and no matter how unpopular a person might seem, not everyone will dislike him.
Our likes and dislikes are determined by our own convenience and self-interest.
Those who are helpful to us, we like; and those who are bothersome, we dislike.
As an example, if a large shopping center is built in a town, the general consumer will be pleased because he or she will be able to buy a great variety of goods at low prices and have brand-name shops and large bookstores and fashionable restaurants available in the same convenient place.
But to the many local shops of the area, it will be a matter of life and death because most of the customers who had been coming to them will now be lured away by the new shopping center.
To the local shop owners, the chairman of the shopping mall will seem to be a bad man, a hateful man who is threatening their livelihoods.
When there are many persons involved, it will never be the case that everyone’s advantage and interests will perfectly coincide.
In short, even the finest person will not be praised by everyone.
Even in the case of Shakyamuni Buddha himself, one-third of the populace didn’t even know he existed, one-third criticized him as an eccentric, and onethird praised him as a holy man, it is said.
How much less likely it is, then, that we, who make mistakes and have faults, should be liked and not disliked by everyone.
And yet many people exhaust themselves by always trying to act the nice person so as to accomplish that impossible goal.
The type of nice person that others expect you to be also differs depending on the people you are dealing with.
If you try to respond to all their various demands, you’ll have to prepare a great many different masks to wear.
But there’s a limit to how flexible you can be. In short, it is impossible to be thought a nice person by everyone.
On the other hand, as Shakyamuni says, “There is no one who is reviled by everyone.”
No matter what situation you find yourself in, not everyone will dislike you.
There will always be someone to support you, among those around you.
You cannot be liked by everyone, but you will also not be disliked by everyone.
Rather than exhausting ourselves by wearing masks in an effort to be liked by everyone, let’s value those who sense who we really are and understand us.