Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Discernment and compassion

The master and his disciple were talking at a street corner when an old woman came up to them: “Get away from my window!” shouted the old lady. “You are disturbing the customers.” The master apologized and crossed over to the other sidewalk.

They went on talking until an officer came up to them and said: “We need you to move away from this sidewalk. The count will be passing by here in a few moments.”

“Let him use the other side of the street,” answered the master, without moving.

Then he turned to his disciple and told him: “Don’t forget: never be arrogant to the humble. And never be humble to the arrogant.”

[Thank you to Warrior of Light for this story.]
As we gain confidence and know our own power, we know who the bullies are and we can stand up to them--even if we are afraid. We also know how to stand in our humility and compassion for our fellow humans.
During the first half of my life, I would have acted exactly the opposite of the master in this story. When the shopkeeper complained, I might have moved, but I would have been huffy and puffy about it. "How dare she tell me to move! Who does she think I am?" But when the officer came up, I most likely would have moved without question. After all, the count is a very important man!
This is not something I am proud to admit; however, my response is not uncommon...especially among women. We do what we are told...especially when told by men.
At this stage of my life, with more experience, learning, strength, boundaries, and sense of self, I have more choice. I can decide when to move and when to stay put. My ability is keener to discern when I am truly being helpful to another human being versus when I am being pushed around to make someone feel powerful and important.
One of the things I love about my work is watching people come into themselves and find their power. When you are sure of yourself and your worth, you know when to stand up and when to sit down.
Put yourself in this story. What would you do? I'd love to hear your story.
Wanda Tucker, Coach
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