HOW TO REACT TO CRITICISM, INSULTS AND ABUSE
Now-a-days many persons, especially young people, are very touchy and hypersensitive to what others say.
Any trivial comment is taken as an insult.
This is especially evident on the Social Media, especially on Twitter, where people seem to be hypersensitive to criticism, differing opinions and contrarian views.
What is the best way to react to criticism – and have tolerance to insulting, sarcastic and abusive behaviour...?
Maybe this teaching story tells you how.
THE GIFT OF INSULTS
An Apocryphal Story
Retold by Vikram Karve
There was once a great warrior.
His reputation extended far and wide throughout the land and many students gathered to study under him.
Though quite old, he still adept at martial arts and, despite his age, the legend was that he could defeat any adversary.
One afternoon, a young warrior, known for his complete lack of scruples, arrived in the village.
The young warrior had never lost a fight.
Along with his strength, he had an uncanny ability to spot and exploit any weakness in an opponent.
He would wait for his opponent to make the first move, thus revealing a weakness, and then would strike with merciless force and lightning speed.
No one had ever lasted with him in a match beyond the first move.
The young warrior had heard of the old master’s reputation was determined to be the first man to defeat the till then invincible great master.
The brash young warrior challenged the old master to a fight.
Much against the advice of his concerned students, the old master gladly accepted the young warrior's challenge.
All villagers eagerly gathered in the village square to witness the bout.
As the two squared off for battle, the young warrior began to hurl insults at the old master.
The young warrior threw dirt and spat in the master’s face and tried his utmost to goad and incite the master to make the first move.
But the old warrior merely stood there motionless and calm.
For hours the young warrior provoked the master.
He verbally abused the master with every curse and insult known to mankind and even insulted the master’s ancestors, but the old man kept smiling and remained impassive.
Finally, as the sun started setting, the young warrior started feeling exhausted and humiliated.
Gradually comprehension dawned on the young warrior and he knew that he was defeated so he bowed before the master and feeling shamed he left the village.
Disappointed that the master had received so many insults and provocations, the students gathered around the old master and questioned him:
“How could you bear such indignity...? Why didn't you use your sword and fight the insolent youth...? It would have been better if you lost the fight instead of displaying such cowardice in front of us all...?”
“If someone comes to you with a gift, and you do not accept it, to whom does the gift belong...?” asked the master.
“To the giver, the one who tried to give the gift...” replied one of his students.
So – the next time someone tries to wants to give you a “gift” of insults – it is your choice whether to accept the “gift” or not.