On insults and provocations
Let me tell you this story:
Near Tokyo lived a great Samurai, who decided to teach Zen Buddhism to young people.
One afternoon, a warrior – known for his complete lack of ethics – arrived there.
The young and impatient warrior had never lost a fight. Hearing of the Samurai’s reputation, he had come to defeat him, and increase his fame.
All the students were against the idea, but the old man accepted the challenge.
All gathered on the town square, and the young man started insulting the old master. He threw a few rocks in his direction, spat in his face, and shouted every insult under the sun.
Disappointed by the fact that the master had received so many insults and provocations, the students asked, “How could you bear such humiliation?
Master: “If someone comes to you with a gift, and you do not accept it, who does the gift belong to?”
Disciples: “He who tried to deliver it!”
Master: “The same goes for envy, anger and insults.”
When anger and insults are not accepted, they continue to belong to the one who carried them. Do not take insults hurled at you personally. According to Don Miguel Ruiz, author of the classic book ‘The Four Agreements’ – “Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds… Taking things personally makes you easy prey for these predators, the black magicians. They can hook you easily with one little opinion and feed you whatever poison they want, and because you take it personally, you eat it up …
But if you do not take it personally, you will not become a slave to their opinions.