Butch Jimenetz was addressing the graduating students of an <st1lace><st1laceName>American</st1laceName> <st1laceType>University</st1laceType></st1lace>. He wrote the following equations on the black board: 3+4=7 9+2=11 8+4=13 6+6=12 “What do you think about these equations?” he asked the students who were about to get their diplomas. Several hands shot up. “The third equation is wrong.” They all shouted. The speaker nodded in agreement. “You are right. That’s a mistake. I concede. Now it’s time to look deep into yourselves. I have written four equations, three of them are right. But the first thing that strikes your eye, the first thought in your mind is about the wrong equation. Right? “It occurred to none of you to say that three equations are right. The reason? The force of negative thoughts.” We do not of course need this intelligent orator to drive home this basic truth. When we see a man wearing a spotless white dhoti which has a stain-mark, the size of a dot, the first thing that appears to us, is the stain; not the clean area which would be a few thousand times larger in area than the dot. I have heard this from many corporate executives. They would have rendered flawless service for 10 years. No one would have appreciated them. And then one fine morning they would commit a small error. The whole company would pounce upon them and would not rest till they are investigated, put in trial, sentenced and if possible hanged. We always preach that we will take only the good from others; but what we do is the exact reverse. Once I was discussing the works of a lyricist with my friend. “He is an arrogant brute. Bloated ego. Idiot.” My friend virtually tore him to pieces. I asked him whether he had read any of his poems. My friend replied firmly, “Look here, I have a policy of not reading anything written by an ego-maniac like that poet.” I was not sure who was more arrogant, the poet or my friend. The poet was an arrogant ass, no doubt about it. But he had written some wonderful verses. No one can deny that too. Why don’t we simply enjoy his words rather than getting emotional about his personal qualities? If the poet is arrogant, let’s not have him as our friend. Let’s not talk to him. But that does not mean that we should reject his poetry too. That will be the best illustration of throwing out the baby along with the bathwater. Remember none of us can change the world. But we can definitely change the way we see the world. We have heard about the mythological swan which can separate milk from water and drink the milk. We seem to have this quality too, but use it in the reverse direction. We skilfully separate the good and the bad in others and carefully take in only the bad, leaving out the good. If only we can change our attitude and train ourselves to see only the good in others, then no one can stop our progress.