Reflections

Three men, with burning questions in their hearts, traversed a great long distance to see a great wise teacher. When they reached the place and found the teacher, each ran up to him and told him what was on their minds.

The first one said, “I am the most compassionate of man and it bothers me that people are so cruel. Why is the nature of man as such that they know no compassion?”

The second one asked, “I am the most learned of man and it puzzles me why people refuse to see the light of reason. Why is the nature of man as such that they are so ignorant?”

The third one questioned, “I am the most peaceful of man and it angers me why people choose to confront. Why is the nature of man as such that they are so violent?”

The wise teacher thought for a while and looked at the three of them and explained: “There will always be people who are cruel, ignorant and violent. If you are truly compassionate, love the cruel until they love you back. If you are truly learned, understand why people are ignorant and open their minds. If you truly are peaceful, show no violence upon those who do violence onto you. Only then are you true to the ideals that you seek.”

The first man heard this and got angry, “I will hate those who show no compassion for me!”

The second man raised his fist, “I will not waste time to teach those who choose to close their mind!”

The third man stomped his feet, “I will be violent to those who are violent to me!”

The teacher smiled at them and said that they have already answered their own questions:-

“O compassionate one, you asked why is the nature of man as such that they know no passion? The answer is that man will hate and show no compassion to those who not compassionate to them;

O learned on, you asked why is the nature of man as such that they are ignorant? The answer is that man will not be taught when they choose to close their minds;

O peaceful one, you asked why is the nature of man as such that they are so violent? The answer is that man will return violence with violence.”

The wise teacher looked the first man and told him, “You said that you are compassionate yet you are not accepting of people’s faults.”

He then turned to the second man and told him, “You said that you are learned and yet do not know why people act the way they do.”

He looked at the third man and told him, “You said that you are peaceful and yet the action of people angers you;

By labelling yourselves as the most compassionate, the most learned and the most peaceful, you are setting yourselves up for failure because there is no limit of compassionate, knowledge and peace that man can ever understand nor attain.

The very nature in you having those questions means that you are far from being compassionate, learned nor peaceful. You have the very same faults as those who are not compassionate, ignorant and violent. It’s easy to preach compassion, knowledge and peace. But the true worth of a person is in how you practice them.”

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