Face it, then let it go …

monks riverOnce, there were two monks – one old, one young – standing on a river bank …

The monks watched as the water began to rise. “We need to pass soon,” said the older monk. Nodding, the youngest agreed and the two stepped lightly into the cold wetness.

A distraught elderly woman appeared. “I cannot cross this stream,” she said. “Would one of you carry me to the other side?”

The younger monk refused. He knew better. To touch another, especially a woman, would be contrary to his teachings. He continued across the waters.

The elder monk, though conflicted at first, picked the woman up and carried her safely to the other side. He put her down, brushed off his robe and smiled.

“Thank you,” she said. He nodded in return and the two monks went about their way – the oldest smiling, the youngest frowning, overwhelmed with aggravation. “How dare he help that woman … how dare he touch another … it went against all their teachings!” Turning to his companion, he expressed his hostilities.

The old monk, still smiling, nodded. He placed one hand on his younger friend and said, “Yes, I carried her across the river. But I put her down on the bank. Why, my friend, are you still carrying her around?”

Now perhaps, if we could all learn a little something from the old monk, perhaps all would be well with the world …Today’s post inspired by No Cliffhangers“Write a post about the topic of your choice, in whatever style you want, but make sure to end it with ‘…and all was well with the world.’”

16 comments

  1. I heard a slightly different version of this story several years ago, and I use it in counseling to illustrate to people the futility of carrying anger and bitterness and not “setting it down.” Thanks for posting it here. Good refresher.

    • Sorry for my late response … somehow or another I had misplaced this … but yes, it does make one smile doesn’t it – I’m trying to remind myself of these two monks every day :)

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