Dealing with Verbal Insults in a Calm and Righteous Way

Guan Ming

PureInsight | January 28, 2007

[] Everyone has
his or her own level of virtue. An outstanding person in ordinary
society and a cultivator can reach very high realm through
self-cultivation. In real life, because of predestined relationships
through many generations of reincarnation, people have difficulty
avoiding being maliciously humiliated, threatened, defamed, criticized
or envied by others. How one deals with humiliation depends on one's
level of virtue.

According to historical records, Fu Bi, a famous official in the Song
dynasty, had a magnificent level of tolerance even when he was young.
When people cursed him, he turned a deaf ear to it and devoted all his
attention to do his work. It seemed like he didn't hear anything. Once
a very ferocious person cursed him, even though it was totally uncalled
for. People beside him said to him: "He is cursing you!" Fu Bi gave
them a pleasant smile and said: "I am afraid he is cursing some other
person." People beside him said again: "He is calling your name." Fu Bi
said: "There are many people with the same name in this world. It's not
necessarily me."  When he heard that answer, the person felt
ashamed and stopped cursing.

If Fu Bi had responded to the cursing with tit for tat and cursed back
at the person, the situation would have been aggravated or even
escalated to fighting. With a calm mind, he made the person's anger
vanish and caused the situation to be resolved with compassion. People
who can endure and tolerate others must have a high moral ability. If
one cannot tolerate others, one lacks forbearance. The most difficult
thing in this human world is to endure humiliation without explaining.

There was a story about Sakyamuni: He encountered envy and cursing from
a certain person for some time. But Sakyamuni was perfectly calm and
kept silent and devoted his time to saving people. When, finally, the
person was done with his cursing, Sakyamuni asked him with a smile: "My
friend, when a person gives something to another person and if the
person refuses to accept it, then who shall own the thing?" That person
answered offhandedly: "Of course it belongs to the giver." Sakyamuni
said: "That's right. You have been cursing me until now. If I don't
accept your cursing, then who will receive the cursing?" Upon hearing
the wise and compassionate questions from Sakyamuni, the person was
speechless and never dare to curse Sakyamuni again.

When dealing with personal insults, few people are able to deal with it
with an unperturbed mind like Fu Bi and Sakyamuni. If we calmly ponder
this, we'll realize that it is unwise to deal with such things with an
"eye for an eye" attitude and curse back. If one faces curses with a
charming smile and answers them in a calm voice, he will certainly have
the bearing of the wise. When you respond to cursing in an
even-tempered and good-humored way, it is the wisdom of a cultivator.
Of course, an ordinary person who doesn't cultivate will never have the
wisdom of a great enlightened being.

Translated from:

Add new comment