Holding on to grudges.

Here is a gorgeous zen parable that speaks to us about holding on to grudges -

Two traveling monks reached a town where there was a young woman waiting to step out of her sedan chair. The rain had made deep puddles and she couldn’t step across without spoiling her silken robes. She stood there, looking very cross and impatient. She was scolding her attendants. They had nowhere to place the packages they held for her, so they could not help her across the puddle.

The younger monk noticed the woman, said nothing, and walked by. The older monk quickly picked her up and put her on his back, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other side. She did not thank the older monk; she just shoved him out of the way and departed.

They continued on their way. The young monk was brooding and preoccupied. After several hours, unable to hold his silence, he spoke out.

“That woman back there was very selfish and rude, but you picked her up on your back and carried her! Then, she didn’t even thank you!”

“I set the woman down hours ago,” the older monk replied. “Why are you still carrying her?”

From Jon Muth’s book, Zen Shorts, quoted in an article by Carl Richards of Behavior Gap, The cost of holding on to bad investments.

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