Your tormentor or your guru?

June 21, 2015

I have noticed not everyone can be totally comfortable in the depths of isolation imposed by living and working in a plantation.

Many people, especially those who are accustomed to city living will feel boxed in after a while by the oppressive iron curtain of perpetual greenery. They may say, ‘I love nature.’ But that is only because they do not realize there is a vast difference between loving nature and living in the thick of it.

As after a few days of feeling marooned in nowhereville. They will begin to crave for their city routine of morning newspapers, endless choices of what to eat along with which mall they should shop at.

That is because they do not understand what it means to live in isolation faraway from the ways of the world.

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‘A few months back ago. A friend complained to me about what he described as the ‘appalling’ and ‘inconsiderate’ ways of a mutual friend. Judging from the amount of venom in his strained voice, this matter must have upset him terribly. So when he asked me for my opinion. I told him,

‘Instead of getting angry. Perhaps he can be your guru to teach you about the wisdom of patience.’

His only reply to me was, ‘I never thought of seeing it that way.’

The world is a place that can either make us angry all the time or give us plenty of opportunities to cultivate patience.

Patience to me is nothing more than the extraordinary skill to seek to understand a thing for what it really is and not what others say, it is. It is a distant cousin of empathy and often to master this life skill requires considerable effort.

Because if you think about it, very few people in this world will ever bother about the business of understanding you or trying to imagine how it feels like to be in your shoes. Very few. Most people only see the world thru their own eyes, ears and mind. That is quite understandable. As there is really no pressing motivation to do otherwise in this age where selfishness has become a way of life.

Recently one of my farmhands was later than usual in repaying a loan. My first reaction was to phone him up to demand an explanation. For some reason I decided against that idea and instead asked his neighbor how are things in the kampung, only to discover a freak storm had blown off the roof of this farmhand who owed me money.

That only goes to confirm my long held belief, the power of patience is a form of wisdom that can only come from understanding that allows us to manage ourselves and others effectively. It is only through a dedicated cultivation of patience that we become better parents, partners, powerful teachers, great businessmen, good friends, and can live a life free from suffering.’

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