Weekend Wisdom-The Gift
June 14, 2020
A man once wanted to become a disciple of Buddha. However, Buddha felt that the person should continue living his normal life instead of becoming his student. So he told the man that he will not take him as his disciple. Every couple of months, the individual came to Buddha and asked to take him as a disciple. Buddha would always say no. This charade went on for about a year, after which the man lost his patience. He had enough of being rebuffed. One evening, as Buddha taught a few of his disciples, the person came over and started insulting him, heaping abuse for not acceding to his request. Buddha remained impassive. Without losing his cool, he responded that he would not take him as a student. Eventually, realizing that Buddha would not budge, the man left the place.
One of the disciples asked Buddha why he let that stranger abuse him in such an aggressive manner and how did he manage to keep his composure.
Buddha responded serenely. “If I were to give you a horse as a gift and you decide not to accept it. Whose horse would it be?”
The student thinks about what his Master said, and after a momentary hesitation, responded, “Master, if I don’t accept, it would continue being your horse.”
Buddha nodded and explained to the student,” when you engage with others, you can think of their words and their judgment like a gift. You can choose to accept the gift or reject it. If you refuse it, the gift continues to belong to the person who tries to give you something. In this case, the gentleman was trying to gift me insults. It was my choice to either accept the gift or reject the gift. I chose the latter, and the gift of insults remained with him.”
Treat whatever others may say of you or to you as a gift that you have a choice of accepting or not. If you feel there is value in what is being said, take it, else decline it.