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Opinion
Which Monk are you?
By Robert Clements
Two nights ago I received a call, from an old childhood friend of mine. "How's your family?" I asked him after some time. "They're fine Bob," he said, "My wife still teaches and my two sons are working!"

"And your dad and mom?" There was silence and I repeated the question.

"Yhey're fine," he whispered.

"They stay below you, don't they?" I asked.

"Yes," he said, "but they still don't talk to me."

"They're still angry about the girl you married?"

"Yes," whispered my friend.

"But that was twenty seven years ago!"

"For them its like yesterday, they turn their face away, when they see her, and that's everyday!" said my friend sadly.

Twenty- seven years ago he had married a girl his parents felt was not right for him. She had been a wonderful wife, had looked him well, even quietly taken care of the parents in little ways, but not a word had they spoken to her or to their son after that.

And like them there are thousands of parents and children, brothers and sisters and former friends who have been carrying a grudge for years and years. The incident which caused the rift looks trivial now, but the memory lingers and forgiveness seems impossible.

Two monks on a pilgrimage came to a ford of a river. There they saw a girl dressed in all her finery and obviously not knowing what to do, for the river was high and she did not want her clothes spoilt. Without much ado, one of the monks took her on his back, carried her across and put her down on dry ground.

The monks then continued on their way, but the other monk started complaining "Surely it is not right to touch a woman, it is against the commandments to have close contact with them. How could you have gone against the rule for monks?" The tirade went on throughout the journey. The monk who had carried the girl walked along silently, his mind on the path ahead and the sights around. The complaining monk didn't stop.

Finally the monk who had carried the girl across stopped looked squarely at his companion and said, "I set her down by the river, but it is you my friend who are still carrying her!"

And so it is with a grudge or hurt. Instead of setting it aside like the monk did with the girl, we carry it in our mind and in our heart, till that anger and hate becomes a cumbersome, laborious, oppressive burden. Is there a son, daughter, mother, father, uncle, aunt or friend whose hurt you need to set aside? Pick up your phone, talk, there's no time like now!

You decide which monk you want to be..!

bobsbanter@gmail.com


News Updated at : Saturday, July 7, 2018
 
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