The Gift of Insults

Enjoy this parable, and may you find the truth in it for yourself.

The Gift of Insults
Once there lived a very old warrior, and although he had grown old in age he remained able to defeat anyone who confronted him. Students would follow him, hoping to learn and receiving lessons from the old warrior’s insight and experience.
One day a stranger came to the village. This stranger was a young warrior and this young warrior was determined to defeat this undefeatable old man. The young warrior was confident, not only in his own strength but in his ability to spot weakness in any opponent he had ever battled. He had a strategy: wait for the opponent to make a move, the weakness would be revealed, and the young warrior would strike hard and fast and win, every time.

The old warrior’s students feared for their master’s safety, for he was quite old and this young warrior seemed intimidating, but the old warrior brushed them aside and accepted the young warrior’s challenge.
As they began the fight, the old warrior remained still. The young warrior began shouting insults at the old man. He spit at the old man and threw dirt at him, trying to anger his opponent into striking first. But the old man waited. For hours the young warrior continued his bashing of the old warrior, only to be met with the calm gaze of the old warrior’s eyes.
Finally, the young warrior accepted the old man was just not going to strike first and he walked away, ashamed for he had been defeated without the old man even lifting a finger.

The students crowded around the old warrior, disappointed that their master didn’t throw the young warrior about and teach him a lesson for insulting him so. They asked, “How could you just stand there and take such insults and disrespect? Why didn’t you fight him and throw him out of the village?”
The old warrior looked at his students and said, “If someone comes to give you a gift, and you do not receive it, to whom does the gift belong?”
The students realized they had much to learn, and went about following the master’s instructions.

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