Have you ever been angry in your life? So angry that you’ve been blinded by it? Well I have, many times and regretfully so.
I remember the first time I was angry. It was during a summer when I was a little girl and a scout. In the village where I grew up we had a community centre where we spent most of our weekends and summers. We played basketball and football (soccer), which was a boy’s game then. There was a hall where we played ping pong and where we usually held our scouts gatherings, though we held them on the basketball court when the weather was good. And in the summer all us scouts went camping. Different groups went at different times until towards the end of summer when we had a general camp for everyone. Usually the camp area was at walking distance from our village.
During that particular summer, when I was still a cub, we had our camp in a beautiful place about three quarters of an hour by car from home. I had been looking forward to it for quite some time.
A few days before my departure, a family member, a distant aunt, had come from Australia for a visit and she had brought me a beautiful handcrafted silver bracelet that I fell in love with the moment she gave it to me. Since I was going away for a week I thought I’d rather take it with me. The shirt of my uniform was long sleeved, so I made sure to wear the bracelet tucked well inside my sleeve, before leaving the house. Excited to be with my friends and absorbed in the day’s activities of setting the tents and finding my group and all, I totally forgot about it. Then came the best part of the night. The bonfire which we gathered around to sing and dance and have fun. It was then that I realized my bracelet was missing.
While everyone was having fun I secretly sneaked off and walked around the places I had been that day in search of my bracelet. I could hear the singing, the laughter, the clapping of my friends but I could not be there to enjoy it because I was looking for my bracelet. Had my mom known, she wouldn’t have let me take it with me in the first place, especially knowing my history of losing things. I moved around in the dark with my flashlight on, searching. Of course I didn’t find it. And I couldn’t say anything to anyone since it was forbidden to wear a bracelet with my uniform. What’s worse is that as long as we were there I kept looking for it every chance I got.
I had only myself to blame and I was so angry that I hated myself for it. To this day all I remember from that summer camp is roaming around with my flashlight and looking for my lost bracelet while everyone else was having fun.
Two Buddhist monks were hurrying one late afternoon to return to their monastery before nightfall. The monastery was on the other side of a river and the river was swollen. Standing on the river bank was a beautiful young woman waiting to cross to the other side also before it was too dark. Afraid of the height of the water she asked the monks for help. Without hesitating, the taller monk carried the woman on his back and strode to the other side. The shorter monk was furious and kept berating him (the taller monk) and said:
“Have you forgotten your vows? How dare you touch a woman! What will people say?”
After listening for a while the taller monk said:
“Excuse me, my brother. I dropped that woman by the river. Are you still carrying her?”
I wish I had known better.