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Is not doing what others tell you to do a wholesome or unwholesome act?

When someone tells you to do something, and you decline, when it's a wholesome act and when it's an unwholesome act from your part?

When someone tells you to do something, and you accept, when it's a wholesome act and when it's an unwholesome act from your part?

Example 1:

Person A looks at the lawn in front of the house and tells to person B: "The yard is ugly with that high lawn. Go mow that lawn now!"

Person B looks at the lawn and says to person A: "The yard is just the yard. The lawn is just the lawn. Neither cannot be beautiful nor ugly. The lawn is not too high. I'll mow the lawn when it grows higher."

Person A, angrily: "No, you mow the lawn now because it's too high and the yard is ugly with that lawn!"

Person B, calmly: "The yard cannot be ugly nor beautiful. The yard is just the yard. The lawn is not too high. If you think it's too high, mow it yourself."

Note: Both persons have the same capabilities and resources to mow the lawn and no time constraints.

Person A is angry with person B. Person B is calm, unaffected.

Which person has acted wholesomely or unwholesomely , A, B or both? Why?

Example 2:

Person A looks at the lawn in front of the house and tells to person B: "The yard is ugly with that high lawn. Go mow that lawn now!"

Person B looks at the lawn and says to person A: "The yard is just the yard. The lawn is just the lawn. Neither cannot be beautiful nor ugly. Yes, the lawn is very very high. I'll mow the lawn when it grows higher."

Person A, angrily: "No, you mow the lawn now because it's too high and the yard is ugly with that lawn!"

Person B, calmly: "The yard cannot be ugly nor beautiful. The yard is just the yard. Yes, the lawn is very very high, but I'll wait until it grows higher. If you think it's too high, mow it yourself."

Note: Both persons have the same capabilities and resources to mow the lawn and no time constraints.

Person A is angry with person B. Person B is calm, unaffected.

Which person has acted wholesomely or unwholesomely, A, B or both? Why?

Example 3:

Same example as example 1, but person A takes a pistol and kills 10 persons out of his anger.

Has person B acted more or less wholesomely or unwholesomely than in example 1?

Example 4:

Same example as example 2, but person A takes a pistol and kills 10 persons out of his anger.

Has person B acted more or less wholesomely or unwholesomely than in example 2?

Example 4:

Same example as examples 1 and 2, but:

Person A tells madly at person B: "Go mow the lawn now!!"

Person B clearly sees person A is mad and will probably kill someone because of that madness, and because person A sees person B could go to hell because of his actions, person A says: "Ok ok. I'll mow the lawn. No problem." and mows the lawn.

Person A is happy. Person B is calm, unaffected.

The question is, what would happen if person B would not give in to the demands of person A? Would that be an unwholesome act for person B?

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In all examples both acted suboptimally.

It looks like person B should learn to understand and appreciate other people's perspectives. Perhaps he should say: "I understand why you worry about the lawn. It does look very high by normal standards. The normal standards are X inches and the lawn is Y. But I am not declining to mow it out of laziness, believe me. I think at this moment it is advantageous to everybody, including you to not mow it. Here is why: A) B) C).

In other words, don't drive people mad with your "superior understanding". If your understanding is better than others' -- invest your energy in teaching.

Also, always remember that people (including yourself!) are rarely truly objective. Instead they often act in line with their interests, or with the group interests, or with the "party line" or with their philosophy. It helps to rephrase your understanding in that context as to help them relate.

One of the very prominent characteristics of Buddha's method was to always work within the person's perspective, not against it.

Speak in terms of what they know, what they value, what they have experienced before - then they will hear and understand.

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Here is a definition of 'wholesome act':

Righteous conduct is the observance of the ten good actions (kusala-kammapatha) in thought, word and deed: freeing the mind of greed, ill-will and wrong views; avoiding speech that is untruthful, slanderous, abusive and frivolous; and the non- committal acts of killing, stealing and sexual misconduct.

I think it's up to you to apply that to real-life scenarios.

That sutta which I referenced above also has some guideliness for employer/employee relationships.

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