The Wealth of a Peaceful Mind

The Wealth of a Peaceful Mind
Photo by Thomas Vimare / Unsplash

It's an unfortunate truth that people often face retribution only after they've done something wrong. Instead, we should embrace tolerance, accepting that everyone has weaknesses and flaws and that mistakes are inevitable. It is important that we strive to avoid causing harm to others and adopt a generous and forgiving attitude towards each other.

There's a story of a rich man who had three sons. When he grew old, he decided to bequeath all his property to one of his sons. But which son should inherit his wealth? The rich man devised a test. He asked his three sons to travel the world for a year. Upon their return, he would assess who had performed the most noble deed. That person would be his chosen heir. A year passed swiftly, and the three sons returned home. The rich man requested they share their experiences.

The eldest son proudly recounted, "During my travels, I encountered a stranger who entrusted me with a bag of gold coins. Unexpectedly, he passed away. I returned the bag of gold coins to his family untouched." The second son confidently shared, "In a poor, undeveloped village, I rescued a little beggar who fell into the river. I not only saved him but also left him with some money." The third son hesitated before admitting, "Unlike my brothers, my experiences were different. I met a man who persistently attempted to steal my money and harm me. Once, I spotted him sleeping beneath a tree by a cliff. All I needed to do was nudge him, and he would fall. Yet, I could not. Fearing he might roll over and plummet down the cliff, I woke him before moving on. Perhaps, this act holds little significance."

The rich man, after hearing his sons' accounts, nodded and declared, "Honesty and courage are virtues that a person should possess, but they aren't the pinnacle of nobility. The act of forgoing an opportunity for revenge and helping an enemy in danger displays the noblest heart of tolerance. Therefore, all my property will go to my third son."

His valuation of tolerance as the highest virtue isn't without reason.

Hating someone fuels continuous resentment, often leading to a yearning for the person's misfortune or punishment. This negative mindset results in loss of inner peace and happiness, causing a psychological imbalance. Conversely, when you hate someone, you focus only on their flaws, belittling them verbally and opposing them in actions. This leads to strained relationships and may even create enemies. This jealous mindset significantly contributes to negative emotions. Today, you may hold a grudge against one person; tomorrow, another. As a result, you may find your circle of friends shrinking while your list of adversaries grows, affecting your social interactions and possibly isolating you.

When hurt by someone, it may be beneficial to put yourself in their shoes: if you were in this situation, how would you cope? Consider their past help and care, as well as their benefits to you. By doing so, your resentment may be alleviated, helping you understand their mistakes or clarify any misunderstandings, resolve conflicts, and restore harmony. In tolerating others, you ultimately benefit yourself.

The individual who achieves this level of understanding is wise. They will envision a broad, vibrant future, feeling as if the entire world is smiling at them.

Hatred is a double-edged sword. While seeking retaliation, you also inflict harm upon yourself. Therefore, an "eye for an eye" results in a lose-lose situation. The person who tolerates others has a mind like the sky: expansive and clear; like the sea: profound and vast. Tolerance comes easily towards family members, friends, and acquaintances because they are people we love. However, the ultimate challenge lies in tolerating those who have deeply hurt us or our enemies.