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There are three forms of conceit.

Many bullies have low self-esteem. They try to compensate for their own lack of self-worth by dominating another. It makes them feel higher when they intimidate someone else.

The Buddha revealed that there are three forms of conceit.

1. Thinking that one is better than someone else.
2. Thinking that one is worse than someone else.
3. Thinking that one is the same as someone else.

The second form of conceit, often unrecognized as a “conceit,” is the main cause of bullying. If we could only stop judging each other, then we might stop judging ourselves. As a result, the need to bully, verbally or physically, would be much reduced.

At a reception, a well-dressed guest proudly introduced himself to the host as a doctor.

“I’m a doctor too,” said the host warmly.

“I’m in general practice.”

“Only a GP? I am a brain surgeon,” said the guest, raising his nose. “Being a GP is hardly brain surgery!”

“I too am a doctor,” said the host’s wife. “I work for Medicins Sans Frontieres and have just returned from six months treating injured children in a war-torn region of the Middle East. It was extremely dangerous work, but someone has to help those poor kids.”

“It must be difficult doing charity work,” replied the self -important guest, holding his nose even higher, “but you must admit, it is hardly as difficult as being a brain surgeon!”

“I am a doctor as well,” interrupted the host’s son. “I have a PhD in physics, and I work for Nasa building rockets. You must admit, Doctor, brain surgery is hardly rocket – science!”

Then the well-dressed guest’s nose fell down, together with his self-satisfaction.

If you find joy thinking that you are better than someone else, then you will find suffering in equal proportions when you meet someone better than you. It is better not to compare yourself at all.

~ Ajahn Brahm

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