Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Angry Young Man and The Buddha

My girlfriend was having a difficult week, dealing with a few incidents of abuse and hatred that were thrown at her. She found herself in a despairing place, unable to shake off the horrible things that were said to her. I am posting this story for her.

As it turns out, this is a paraphrasing of an actual Buddha story, but the spirit of the tale is the same.

It is said that one day the Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him. “You have no right teaching others,” he shouted. “You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake!”

The Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the young man, “Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?”

The young man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “It would belong to me, because I bought the gift.”

The Buddha smiled and said, “That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself.”

Copyright© 2010 John David Hickey