Why do we dwell on the little things in life? We let them consume us and eat away at us bit by bit. If someone does something and we are bothered by it, we spend time trying to analyze it and tell ourselves how inconsiderate they were. We tell more and more people just to make ourselves feel better, but we just get more and more frustrated.
I am reminded of a story that captures this beautifully. There were two monks walking along in silence and as they were walking, they came to a river bank and a maiden who was standing there and wanting to cross. There was no bridge or any way to cross without going in to the water. She asked if one of the monks could carry her across so she could make it over. The first monk did not respond to the plea and continued through the water and turned around to see the other monk bend down on one knee so the maiden could climb on his back. The second monk carried the maiden to the other side and let her off his back. Both monks carried on in silence for a long distance and the first monk kept thinking about the second monk and what he had done and how wrong it was. After a while, the first monk finally piped up and told the other monk that it was wrong what he did and he should not have helped her across and started to explain how and why that was so wrong. In reply, the second monk merely replied: “I left the maiden on the bank, why are you still carrying her?”
What I love about this story is that it brings a very clear point that we can let things consume us but at times we just have to let go. The more we hold on to the little things and it bothers us, the more it can bring us down. Just let it go! Do you want to be carrying a burden? After a while, it can become heavy as we read more into situations and interactions. Our burdens seem to accumulate and it becomes even more cumbersome. Initially, it might be more difficult to let it go but the sooner you release uncomfortable situations, the lighter you will feel. The first monk carried a heavy burden for a long distance while the second monk released the maiden early and felt positive. Are you the first or second monk? If you are the first monk, what do you need to unburden?
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