Once upon a time, there is a Zen Master who loves bonsai. Other than the morning chanting routine and teaching in the evenings, he will spend all of his time taking care of the many bonsai in the garden – watering the bonsai, fertilizing them and trimming them to make it better looking.


One day, he is going out to another town for a short trip and will only return 7 days later. So he summons one of his diligent and hardworking student over, and hands over to him the task of the bonsai caring for the next few days until he is back. The student takes up the task and well enough, the little monk spends all his efforts taking care of the many bonsai under his charge.

 

 

He diligently and carefully waters and trims the bonsai, hoping that the bonsai will be even better than before so that the Zen Master will be happy with his efforts. But Fate seems to like to play jokes on anyone putting in his 100% effort on any task; the little monk accidentally trips and falls towards the bonsai shelf. The shelf collapses and most of the bonsai are destroyed. The student tries all ways that he could come up with to salvage the situation but alas, most of the bonsai are not able to survive and therefore they died.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the next few days, the little monk is not able to sleep, unable to ease his mind knowing that those bonsai are the treasures of the Zen Master. He will not be able to evade the punishment which would be as severe as banishment from the temple.

 

 

Finally the day when the Zen Master return comes. The student kneels down in front of the Zen Master and apologizes for his mistake. The Zen Master looks on at the destroyed bonsai and the little monk’s crying face.
“It is alright. Wipe your face dry and get back to your duty.”
“But Master, aren’t you angry over my mistake? You entrusted me to take care of your bonsai yet I destroyed it out of my own carelessness. Master please punish me for the mistake I have done.”
“Silly boy. The purpose of the bonsai is to beautify the environment, not to make anyone or myself angry.”

 

 

 

 

Frankly speaking, most people like us will be angry for the mistakes that others did. Especially those that are close to us and have been entrusted with a higher level of trust and expectation. But what is the point of being angry?

Some of us may say, the action to be angry is to get our point across and make the other party understand the mistakes committed and the severe consequences that comes after that.

If we change to another perspective, and put ourselves in their shoes, will you be able to understand the reason behind the angry tone and contents?

To forgive is giving the other party another chance – another chance to be better, another chance to mend his way, another chance for a better future, for both parties.

 

So the next time when you are angry, hold your anger and think for a moment: should this matter sour the relationship between the parties over a spat of anger? Or is there a better alternative to salvage the situation and improve the relations?

 

 

 

 

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