Mulla Nasruddin used to come to his house, and every day there was trouble. His wife was suspicious — as all wives are — that he was having an affair with some other woman, because going out of the house he looked so happy and went so fast; coming home he looked sad.
Certainly there was something outside the house which attracted him. So when he used to put his coat on the hanger, she would look on his coat, on his shirt, to see if she could find any hair or anything else to prove that he had been with some other woman.
One day — for seven days she had been searching and she could not find a single hair — on the seventh day, she burst out crying, screaming, “This is too much. Now you have started going with bald women!”
Now, it is very difficult to find a bald woman — almost impossible. I have seen only one woman who was semi-bald, not bald. But for seven days, no hair? The conclusion is clear, that he has fallen so low that he is now going with bald women. “Can’t you find a woman with hair?”
If a husband is sitting silently, then the wife is angry. If he is reading the newspaper, the wife is angry; she will snatch the newspaper and say, “I am here and you are reading the newspaper as if I don’t exist.”
Everybody is so miserable that he wants to find some reason somewhere to explain to himself why he is miserable, why she is miserable. And the society has given you a good strategy: judge.
First, naturally, you judge yourself in every way. No man is perfect, and no man can ever be perfect — perfection does not exist — so judgment is very easy. You are imperfect, so there are things which show your imperfection. And then you are angry, angry with yourself, angry with the whole world: “Why am I not perfect?”
Then you look with only one idea — to find imperfection in everybody. And then you want to open your heart — naturally, because unless you open your heart, there is no celebration in your life; your life is almost dead. But you cannot do it directly; you will have to destroy all this upbringing from the very roots.
So the first thing is, stop judging yourself. Instead of judging, start accepting yourself with all your imperfections, all your frailties, all your mistakes, all your failures. Don’t ask yourself to be perfect. That is simply asking for something impossible, and then you will feel frustrated. You are a human being after all.
The Transmission of the Lamp
Chapter #1: The animals must all be laughing