One day a monk went to cleanse himself in the river. While doing so he noticed a scorpion struggling in the water. Knowing that scorpions can’t swim, the monk knew if he did not save the scorpion, it would drown. Thus, carefully picking up the scorpion, the monk rescued it from drowning. And as he was just about to set it down, the scorpion stung his finger. In pain, the monk drew back his hand and the scorpion went flying, back into the river. As soon as the monk regained his composure, he again lifted the scorpion out of the water. Again, before he could set the scorpion down, the creature stung him. This drama lasted for several minutes.
A hunter watched this routine, wherein the monk would carefully and gingerly lift the creature out of the water to yet again fling it back in the water again. While at the same time also convulsing from the pain unleashed by each fresh sting. Eventually, unable to hold onto his curiosity the hunter said to the monk, “Excuse me for my outspokenness, but it is clear the scorpion is simply going to sting you each time you try to carry it to safety. So, why don’t you just give up on it and let it drown”?
To this the monk replied: “My dear child, the scorpion is not stinging me out of malice or evil intent. Just as it is the water’s nature to make me wet, so it is the scorpion’s nature to sting. He doesn’t understand that I am getting him to safety. Quite simply, there is a level of conscious comprehension greater than what his brain can accomplish. But, just as it is the scorpion’s nature to sting, so it is my nature to save. Just as he is not leaving his nature, why should i leave my nature? My dharma is to help every creature – human or animal. Then why should I let a small scorpion rob me of the divine nature which I have gained through years of sadhana (penance)?”
“Once upon a time, in the distant future, there was an almost perfect city. There were no evil or lazy people, no pollution, no traffic nor degradation. At first glance, everything was perfect.
In the almost perfect city, in front of each house there was a flag. The flags could be red, yellow, white or black. And although not mandatory, it was common sense, a housing to have its flag. And why? And all the houses without exception had her. The flag indicated the color of the skin of the family that lived there. And because there are flags with four possible colors is the reason why the city was almost perfect. That’s what the inhabitants thought. But, was it?
The white-skinned people only liked white flags and were proud of the flag they had in front of their house. So did people of other colors. The children of different colors did not play together, the adults of different colors said “Hello” and “Good morning,” but the conversation was no longer “how are you?”. In the near perfect city, the color of the flag would be to identify who the possible friends were.
But every month, in the near perfect city, there was a meeting with all the inhabitants of the city. It was led by the Mayor and was held in a building the size of two football stadiums. The building was called the Individual. It was thus, that it was tried to maintain the almost perfection of the city. “The Individual,” which had only one large door symbolized the power and uniqueness of the city.
On a certain winter day there was a strong snow in the near perfect city, but the great meeting was not delayed. The city was in weight on the Individual, when there was a great rumble, something supernatural. A thousandth of a second later, all the Individual was in the dark, the panic among the 33,000 people who started in a rampage for the grand entrance, but the door would not open. Without seeing his audience, the President, with cold blood, realized the danger of the situation: never in the near perfect city had anyone witnessed a power outage; People would trample each other and there could even be death by crushing. Quickly he gives his hand to the person next to him, who in turn perceives the message: a great human cord has formed inside the Individual. “Calm down”, it was heard. Without looking at the color of the hand that was holding, only grasping it, knowing that this hand could save their life, they all calmed down, and at the end of the cord, near the door, they managed to break it. Slowly, the crowd left the Individual to the icy snow. One by one, people realize that the hand they held was not their color. However, they grabbed her with equal strength. Inside the Individual, in the dark, the human cord had allowed the people, once outside, to realize that their city was only almost perfect. Until that day no one had realized that a black, white, yellow, or red hand had the same strength to grasp, whether in the dark or in the clear.”
- What feelings did this tale awaken in you?
- What names would you give to these flags?
- What flags do you put on others?
- What prejudices do I have on the people I see, in the society in which I live, in my class, in my neighborhood where I live, in the people I know?