Do you ever notice that when you’re driving…
Everyone going slower than you is an idiot…
Everyone driving faster than you is a maniac?
In ‘Demetri Martin: Live (At The Time)‘, he shared this joke – ‘One time I was at a crosswalk when I saw a guy wearing the same shirt that I was wearing. It was kind of a specific shirt, and I looked at him, and he was a dork [which is slang for a socially awkward or inept person]. Just like a dorky looking guy. And I thought, “I’ve got the same taste as a dork. That makes me a dork. That sucks!” You know? Two months later, I’m in a restaurant, it happened again. I see a guy wearing the same shirt that I’m wearing, but he was really good-looking. He was with a beautiful woman. And I just looked at him and I thought, “I’m the dork.” Can’t win.’ Great thought-provoking humour! Well, the best wit conveys some ‘enlightening’ wisdom as it entertains, be it accidental or not.
Our minds are so defiled that we tend to relate to every single person, (matter) and thing our eyes (and minds) lay upon, with near-instant projections of our deeply habitual three poisons of greed (attachment), hatred (aversion) and delusion (ignorance). This is why we often make snap judgments without further investigation or reflection. Martin did kind of admit his potential misjudgment though – by adding that the first man was ‘dorky looking’, which meant he might not really be a dork. Yet, he did seem more dorky to him than not. Even such a seemingly harmless judgment still stems from attachment to who deserves to wear the shirt, aversion to the undeserving who does, and delusion about everyone else who does. With many male shirts looking similar, ladies might find it more unnerving when seen with the same specific dress!
The tables were later turned on Martin when he felt comparatively dorkier upon encounter of a seemingly totally undorky guy! Yet again, it is judgmentalism with the same three poisons at play. The better-looking man became the envious subject of attachment, being who he would prefer to be, versus himself, now the subject of some aversion. Again, all these arose from the same delusion. At the (beginning and) end of the day, the shirt is just a shirt, however specific it might be in design, not necessarily reflecting anything about the taste, character, well-being or worthiness of its wearers. All needless comparisons began from first unmindfully projecting his three poisons upon, and later through the shirt. Once that happens, he simply ‘can’t win’, as he will never meet anyone exactly like him in every way on the streets!
If you always expect the world
to centre around your preferences,
always expect to be disappointed.
Once you lack equanimity,
there is deluded attachment
and deluded aversion.