Once upon a time, there was a village rich with the sublimity of nature. This village was surrounded by a ring of glorious mountains. The villagers were mostly farmers. Day and night the villagers worked hard in their paddy fields while the children were playing with splashing water in the river that meanders through the village.
In this village full of awe there was a monastery on the hill. This quite pious monastery had an ancient bell that was rung thrice a day by the monk in charge of this monastery. It was the only sound that could be heard in this resplendent village amidst the whispering of the villagers.
There was a footpath in this village that springs towards the village town. There was a trishaw driver living in this town. He always began to shout at the passengers when they bargained for the ride. He used to yell at people when hooting the horn while driving his trishaw.
He also used to quarrel with neighbors over pity issues like when leaves from his neighbor’s trees blow onto his compound. His anger and frustration reached a boiling point and he made the decision to leave everything behind and start a new life somewhere else.
Then one day, he remembered his trip on a trishaw to this beautiful village with lush paddy fields and considered moving there. But he wasn’t sure whether this village is suitable for him to live in. As he was pondering how to find out if this village would be an ideal place for him to live, the village monk came to his mind.
So one day he decided to go to the monastery and get advice from the monk. He was unsure whether the monk would be there; however, he decided to take a chance and set off to meet the monk. Once he reached the silent monastery he was going all over in search of the monk but he couldn’t find the monk.
He saw an ancient bell in the monastery and looked at it and was thinking about whether to ring the old bell or not. Then he suddenly heard the footsteps of someone. When he looked from where the sound of footsteps was coming, he saw the monk and was so pleased. The monk told the man ‘ please, do come in’.
Once he went into the meditation hall the monk questioned him “what’s the matter dear one’? Then the man replied,
“Oh! Wise one I came all the way to meet you to find out whether this village has good people to live with.
Then the monk asked him “dear one, where do you live and how are those people in your neighborhood”?
Then the man unveiled that he lives in the nearest town further away passing the narrow footpath that leads to this village. He annoyingly began to say all the nasty, greedy, loathsome, and hateful behavior of his neighbors who are into stealing and arrogance.
Then the man asked the monk
“how about the people in this village,”?
“Are they nice”?
“I am asking, so I can move here”.
The monk replied to the newcomer
“Dear one, in this village also get the same type of people”.
The man felt very disappointed but worshipped the monk and left the monastery. This man could not see the bright side of his neighbors bringing opportunities for him. Like hiring his trishaw for rides, the pleasure of sweeping the leaves on his compound blown from the neighbor’s garden, and so on.
A few days later another man living in the same town approached the monastery. Asked the same question the monk how the villagers are and whether they are good to live with. He also wants to move to the same village where the monk lived.
As he wants to send his child to a village school more than to an urban town school. The monk reverts back asking how the neighbors are in your town. Then this man who came from the same town where the previous man was living totally gave a different impression to the monk.
He said I am a teacher and I teach in the town school. The neighbors, parents, and students are so nice, and well-behaved that they have a lot of respect for one another. They help each other by exchanging notes, sometimes food, they in fact accompany adults, and so on.
They are such an awesome group of people. I would love to live there but I was brought up in a village school and I want my child to have a similar education.
“That’s why I came to meet you, wise one to check out whether the villagers are nice.”
said the second man who approached the monk from the same town. The monk was astonished by his statement and replied saying “the same type of people live here’.
The man who was pleased by the monk’s answer worshipped him and went away happily with the intention of moving to the village.
This man saw the good in others which the previous man couldn’t.
In life when you see harsh, aggressive, events you encounter the world as a disgraceful place, however, when you see love, kindness, and gratitude in life the world becomes an adorable place to live with one another.
The attitude and perspective of an individual towards others can greatly impact their experiences and perception of the world around them.
People can choose to focus on the negative aspects of those around them, or they can choose to look for the good and find positivity in their interactions.
In this case, the first man who approached the monk was negative towards his neighbors and expected to find similar behavior in the village. On the other hand, the second man who approached the monk had a positive attitude toward his neighbors and was pleasantly surprised to hear that the villagers were similar.
This shows that one’s perception of the world can greatly influence their happiness and satisfaction with life. Therefore, it is important to strive for a positive outlook and appreciate the good in others, even in difficult situations.
Looking beyond our goals helps us to appreciate the beauty of life more than its darker side. Instead of being so goal-oriented, try living in the moment with an open heart and mind. Doing this will lead to greater peace, happiness, and fulfillment – something that can soothe even the deepest emotional wounds.