Let’s understand first and not rush to interpret each other. Most situations turn messy and most relationships get knotted up because people don’t want to understand. And instead they have interpreted others.
Osho, the Master, shares this story of his favorite character, Mullah Nasruddin. Mullah was coming back, totally drunk, in the wee hours of a morning. As he passed by a cemetery, he saw a signboard above a bell, which read, in big letters: “Ring for the Caretaker”. So, Mullah did just that. He rang the bell. Of course, the caretaker woke up with a start! He rushed to the main gate, sleepy and in a state of shock at having been woken up rudely. When he saw a drunk Mullah Nasruddin there he became even more angry. He asked: ‘Why? Why did you ring? Why did you call for me? What is the matter?” Mullah looked at the caretaker in disbelief, then looked at the signboard and then looking at the caretaker again, blabbered loudly, “Now, I don’t get this. Why can’t you ring that goddamn bell yourself?” The caretaker looked at the signboard again. It was written: “Ring for the Caretaker”. And so, now, the caretaker knew, why Mullah had rung the bell! This is the issue we are all confronted with. We interpret instead of understanding each other. Did Mullah understand what was written there or did he interpret it? For if he had understood it, he would have rung only if he wanted the caretaker to come and assist him with something. But because he interpreted the message on the signboard, he rang the bell for the caretaker!!
How often are we guilty of behaving with people and situations like the way Mullah did in that story? We don’t even listen most of time. We rush to conclusions even as someone is saying something. Even before someone has finished speaking our minds have formulated a ‘fitting’ reply. If we will listen, we will understand. But if we don’t listen, if we don’t pause to think after reading something, we will interpret. And most often our interpretation is completely wrong. Because everything in an interpretation is an analysis of what that something should be, could be or will be. It is never an acceptance of what is or never about just being!
Take any of your Life situations __ a vexing relationship issue, for example. Ask yourself if you have tried to understand that person or have you interpreted her or his actions, words and thoughts? If you had understood, as you will discover, there would not be an issue or misunderstanding! So, now, you know what to do! Don’t you? Stop interpreting. Understand. And peace will follow!