Don’t judge people by their actions. Actions are momentary, life is long. You judge the whole life of a person – “That man is a thief, that man is a murderer” – and not only do you judge, but your courts, which are thought to be just, go on judging people by small actions. Those small actions may have been done for a certain purpose. Nobody looks at the purpose, nobody looks at the cause.
I am reminded of Lao Tzu….
The emperor of China wanted the most wise man to be the chief justice of the supreme court of China. People suggested Lao Tzu’s name. It was absolutely right, there was no disagreement about it in his court, and Lao Tzu was called.
Lao Tzu came in his own way. He used to ride on a buffalo – which is a very rare thing. People ride on horses, and people ride on elephants, but a buffalo…? But he loved his buffalo; it carried him from one place to another, and it gave him nourishment. No horse can do that.
And buffaloes are so silent – and Lao Tzu was in immense love with silence – they don’t chatter. They are so contented, they don’t have any grudge against existence.
He came into the court riding on his buffalo. The emperor was shocked, but they had invited him, and they were well-mannered, well-educated people, so they ignored the buffalo.
The emperor asked Lao Tzu, “I want you to be the chief justice of the supreme court of China.”
Lao Tzu said, “You are choosing a wrong person.”
The emperor said, “Why?”
“Because,” Lao Tzu said, “I will be really just.”
The emperor said, “That is the very function. Don’t say no to your own emperor.”
Lao Tzu said, “Okay, but it won’t last long – perhaps one day.” And it lasted only one day.
The first case was about a thief who had stolen money from the richest man in China. The man was so rich that even the emperor used to borrow money from him.
Lao Tzu listened to the whole case and gave his judgment: “Six months jail for both the rich man and the thief.”
The rich man said, “What?! My money is stolen and you are sending me to jail?”
Lao Tzu said, “I am looking at the whole thing as deeply as possible. This thief is a secondary criminal, you are the primary criminal. You have collected all the money of the capital, you have deprived millions of people of money. Even if he had not stolen from you, you needed punishment. And I will not call this poor man a thief; he was simply distributing wealth to those to whom it belongs. You are a bloodsucker, a parasite!”
The rich man said, “I want to see the emperor before you send me to jail.”
He went to the emperor and he said, “Listen, this man is absolutely absurd and dangerous. He is sending me to jail for six months.”
The emperor said, “You are being judged? You have not done anything wrong.”