Shantideva: Far-reaching Mental Stability

(10) One moment, they’re friends;
In an instant, they’re enemies.
At a time for being delighted, they fall into a rage:
Ordinary beings are so difficult to please.

(11) Told what’s of benefit, they get enraged
And cause me to turn from what’s of benefit too.
But, if their words aren’t listened to,
They fall into a rage and go, then, to a worse rebirth state.

(12) They’re envious of superiors, competitive with equals,
Arrogant toward inferiors, conceited when praised,
And hateful when told what they don’t want to hear:
When is there benefit from infantile beings?

(13) If I associate with infantile people,
Then destructive behavior inevitably arises among infantile folk,
Such as praising myself and belittling others,
And prattling on about the pleasures of samsara.

(14) From entrusting myself to others in this way,
Nothing but loss comes about in the end,
For they’ll be, in fact, no-good for me
And I’ll be, in fact, no-good for them.

(15) So let me flee far away from infantile folk;
But if encountered, I’ll please them with pleasantries,
And without becoming overly familiar,
I’ll conduct myself nicely, merely as an ordinary person would.

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