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  • Writer's pictureSweet Orange

#42 善人と悪人のお話 The story of good people and bad peaple

Bishop:Yuju Matsumoto 松本優樹

Title: The story of good people and bad peaple


In one town, two houses stood next to each other.

One house has a large family of seven people living in it. The house for seven people is always bustling with activity, and the family is always happy and joyful. The other house had three people living in it, but they were always fighting and having uninteresting days.

The husband wondered why their neighbors were always living so happily together, so he went to the house next door to ask them why.

The husband complained, "Your are always getting along, but at my house we are always fighting. The husband of the house next door quickly replied, "That's because your family is full of good people. In contrast, my family is full of bad people”.

The husband of the family of three, who still did not understand what he meant, asked again, "I don't understand. If your family were all bad people, there would be a lot of fighting. On the other hand, if we were all good people, we would get along well with each other, wouldn't we?”

The husband next door replied, "That's not true. For example, there are not enough dishes for dinner, and it is not a feast, right? My wife says, "I'm sorry that I can only make such a dish," and I say, "I'm always sorry that I don't earn enough money," and my parents say, "No, no, no, we are sorry that you don't have enough dishes because we are here”. My children say sorry for coming home late from school and not being able to help their mother. In other words, everyone in the family feels bad for everyone else, so there is no reason to fight. Perhaps you think everyone in your family is a good person, and that's why you don't want to admit your own faults”.

I think this story captures the view of good people and bad people well.

People who think they are good people often see the worst in others. The ancients taught us, "Look at other people's behavior and see how they behave”. However, we often get angry when we see other people's behavior and feel superior when we compare ourselves with others, and I think we have forgotten the lesson from the ancients.

This happened to me the other day.

The entrance to our temple is narrow and you have to go through a narrow passageway to get to the main street, but there are often cars parked there blocking the passageway. They may stop for a short while, but it is a big nuisance for us. Some people park their cars in the aisles and go shopping without a care in the world. When I warn them, "Don't park here," they get upset and curse at me in foul language. When I told this story to others, I was lectured, "They are crazy and you never know what they will do”..

Living in the U.S. for a long time makes me feel sad, as if the "sense of beauty" that Japanese people have is being rapidly eradicated by the "strange daily morals" of this country.

In Buddhism, we call it "Three misteries," which means to think, speak, and act from the other person's point of view. These "three secrets" are the secret weapons to change the society we live in. (continued)


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