One of the hardest things in life, I think, is to be able to say sorry. It is hard to do it when you are wrong and it is even harder when you feel that you have nothing to apologise for. I met a person yesterday who had a disagreement with somebody about two years ago. It seems that neither of the two of them have as test been able to put the disagreement behind them. They were very close friends and it is very sad to see.
I remember one time I sat down and made a list of all those people I might have offended or hurt in any way. Those it was still able to contact I did I wrote to them and apologised. It was a very difficult thing to do and had mixed effects. But the one thing it did was it made me feel that I had indeed made the effort and that I could now move on.
Let me share two little tales with you today.
One day Buddha was walking with his students through a village, where the opponents of Buddhism lived. The people of the village surrounded Buddha and his students and started insulting them.
In response, the students got angry and wanted to retort, but the presence of Buddha calmed them down. The words of Buddha confused not only the students but also the villagers.
He turned to his students and said:
"You disappointed me. These people are doing their thing. They are angry. They think that I am an enemy of their religion and their moral belief. These people are insulting me and it’s obvious. But why are you angry? Why did you let these people manipulate you? Now you depend on them, therefore you’re not free."
The people from the village were completely confused and asked:
"But we were insulting you, why aren’t you mad at us?"
"You are free people, and what you did – is your business. I am also a free person and a master of my own actions. That is why I have my own right not to react to manipulation and be free from anger."
Now I know that is not obvious but it might be worthy of a second read.
The second little tale.
A man was publicly offending Omar Chajam:
"You’re an atheist! You’re drinker! Almost a thief!" said the man to Omar.
Omar just smiled in response.
A dandy dressed in the silk trousers watching the scene asked Omar, "How can you tolerate such offences? Don’t you feel hurt?"
Omar smiled again and said, "Come with me."
The dandy followed him to the dusty lumber-room. Omar lit a light and began rummaging in the trunk, where found completely worthless tattered robe. He threw it to dandy and said, "Try it, it will match you."
The dandy took the robe, looked at it and was full of anger. "Why do you give me these dirty rags. I am well dressed, and you must be crazy! He threw the robe back at Omar.
"You see," Omar said, "you did not want to try my rags. Similarly, I did not want to try those dirty words that man threw me. To be aggrieved by offences means to try on rags someone throw us.
It is never easier but often better to take harsh words and move on . It is even harder knowing you are not wrong to say you are sorry. better a bit of humble pie than the loss or hurt of another.
Have a good day.