Thoughts about Life: The Poor and the Rich Are Equal

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Guan Ming

[] In this human
world, everyone has the right to pursue the truth and stick to his or
her belief, regardless of whether they are rich or poor. People
classify others into various ranks. The rich look down upon the poor
and evil officials treat common citizens with contempt. But there is no
disparity between the rich and the poor based on the essence of life.
Even if a person who does not own a thing in the world, as long as he
or she has aspiration and does not give up hope, he or she will head
for success even the passage is difficult. With respect to a poor
person, as long as he has the desire for the righteous Fa, heaven will
not abandon him because he is poor. As long as he wholeheartedly seeks
Buddhahood, he will be able to reach consummation, just like lotus
flowers grow in the mud.

There was once a boy who lived in a slum in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. He
was unusually fond of soccer, but he couldn't afford to buy a soccer
ball. He kicked plastic boxes, soft drink bottles, or coconut shells
taken from a garbage can. He often found an open space to kick these
things. One day when he was kicking a pig bladder on a dry pond, a
soccer coach caught sight of it and gave him a soccer ball. The boy
tried very hard to play soccer. Soon he was able to kick the ball
accurately into a bucket placed some distance away. He was eager to
play soccer with boys in the city, but those rich kids looked down upon
him and willfully distanced him. Finally, the coach who had given the
boy the soccer ball recognized the boy's extraordinary ability and
brought him to his training camp. Three years later, this seventeen
year old boy scored 21 goals during the sixth world soccer championship
games and helped Brazil to win the gold cup. This boy who was once
unknown to the world became the king of soccer.

In ancient Japan, peasants were considered as the underclass by
aristocrats and they couldn't even qualify to become monks. An
underclass boy named Wusan entered a monastery without revealing his
status. He cultivated diligently and was nominated later to be the
abbot. But during the ceremony, a person came out and pointed at Wusan
and said with scorn: "How can an underclass person become an abbot?"
None of the monks knew what to do with this situation in this solemn
ceremony and couldn't stop the person from speaking. They just kept
silent and waited. The ceremony was interrupted. It was so quiet that
even the sound of a needle falling on the ground could be heard. Faced
with this sudden attack, Wusan answered with smile: "Lotus flower in
the mud." It was an ingenious reply. All people present cheered. The
person had nothing to say and couldn't help but admire Wusan's
exquisite answer. The ceremony continued. People respected him even
more for his underclass status.

The status of being rich or poor is like a flowing stream. It changes
every moment. Only without being deluded by outer appearances and
seeing through the essence of rich or poor and eminent or humble, can
we treat sentient beings equally. The rich and powerful are powerless
in dealing with the catastrophes in life such as becoming old, getting
ill, and dying. Nobility of mind and morality is the most precious in

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