Are You Sure You’re Right or Not?
It is natural for a cat to steal a fish once it finds a fish. Once when I was taking the subway in Brazil, without my knowing, I dropped one of the highest-value bills of that currency. But fortunately there was a person who kindly told me that I dropped it. If nobody had told me that I had dropped it and I had never noticed it, then I’m sure somebody would have taken it. In such a case I might have become resentful toward that person. I think the majority of us including myself would insist that I’m not to blame and the person who took the money is to blame. However, even though most people think in this way, it is not right to get mad at the person who took the money. When something bad happens to us, If we can accept that I was the cause of such a misfortune, then we don’t need to suffer so much by getting angry at others.
A man came home to find his wife standing in the kitchen with a stick in her hand, raised threateningly in the air.
“Hey, what’s going on?” he asked.
“Hi,” she said.
“Today I bought some of your favorite fish for dinner, and it cost a pretty penny, too. I laid it on the carving board and then turned around to adjust the fire on the stove. The second my back was turned, that cat of ours jumped up, grabbed the fish, and ran off. I called and called, but it just glared at me and growled. I’m so mad, I don’t know what to do.”
“I see. Well, let’s sort out what happened. Did the cat know that it was my favorite fish, or that it cost a pretty penny?”
“Of course not. It’s only a cat.”
“Is ours the only cat who steals fish?” “No, they’re all the same.”
“What about a cook who lets a cat get the better of her? Would you say she’s smart or otherwise? I’m afraid if Buddha judged this case, you, the plaintiff, would end up paying all the court costs.”
“All right, never mind. I won’t hit the cat.” “No, by all means, go right ahead and deliver a beating.”
“But the cat’s not to blame.” “Who is?” “Me.”
“Then hit yourself with the stick.” Cats have been stealing fish since the beginning of time. We are tormented with anger because we are convinced we are right.
(From Something You Forgot Alomg the Way, Cats All Steal Fish)
Satoshi Hasegawa, Satoshi’s Book Club
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #26 | 2013, What If Buddha Judges Your Case?
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