In class today
The topic of today's class (from the textbook) was interpersonal relationships. Ego also came up. It was a great learning experience not only for the class, but also the teacher. We talked about how having a big ego or (self image,opinion of one's self) causes a lot of trouble when we are given criticism, or faced with a obstacle. We discussed that when one has a big ego they tend to take things very personally, and see things as very tragic ie. Having the T.V. or car stolen. When asked the question what do you think is most important in maintaining a interpersonal relationship, one student said generosity. I told them the story of the monk (forgot who that was) giving the thief his things (with a bit of embellishment for effect). It basically went like:
A man came home and found his house empty, the robber was still there. The robber ran away with the things when he saw the man. The man ran after him shouting "Wait!" They kept running, and the man kept shouting "Wait!" Eventually he caught up with the thief. The thief was ready to knock him down, when the man took out a trinket and said "You forgot something and gave it to the thief."
Which one was happier? The thief or the man?
We also briefly talked about discussing the faults of others and how we should be more skillful in pointing something out to someone. Good class. Good learning experience for all.
Re: In class today
My biggest ego derived problem that I've noticed curing itself is driving. I don't get stressed out when driving any longer. It doesn't bother me as much when people cut me off, I more tend to worry about them now. Also your story reminded me of a poem by Ryokan.
The thief left it behind:
at my window