Original Link : https://medium.com/@niran_jan/stoicism-an-alternative-way-of-living-a-happier-life-2a0ff6574521

Ihave profound memories of my moral classes from childhood. One of the subject which has not gotten its place in most of the private schools in cities. I suppose it is taught only in missionary schools.

I have met many kinds of people throughout my life. I broadly characterize them into two categories. Easy people and difficult people. Easy people are the ones who you get along with easily, make friends, hang out, live, laugh and would like to stay in touch. And the contrary is the difficult ones.

What do you do when you find someone hard to get along with? someone, who you think is evil? Who always does something to annoy you? In personal life, you might cut off all contacts with that guy/girl and make peace with it. But, What would you do when you have someone like this in your professional life? someone, you have to tolerate every day. Someone you might have to work with, in a project. Or worst case scenario, It is your boss.

Well, I am going to tell you a story which comes to my mind whenever I encounter such people. And hope that moral from this story will help you in those difficult situations and help you become a better person.


The story of a saint and a scorpion

Imagine a place at the bank of a river and amidst dense forest, animals, mountains, birds, and lovely nature. There lives a saint with his disciples. Like other saints, he offers prayer to the rising sun every day, around 3–5 AM in the morning. A time which is also known as the Brahma Muhurta.

As routined, one fine morning as he goes inside the river, closes his eyes and joins palm to take water in his hands to offer it to the rising sun. He feels immense pain in his palm like something venomous has stung him. He quickly shakes his hand and opens his eyes and finds a scorpion swimming in front of him. Trying to save its life. The venom from the scorpion is so poisonous that tears start rolling down his eyes. He subtly smiles and picks up the scorpion again. It stings him again and he is shaken with the pain. While all of this is being watched by his disciples at the bank of the river. They get angry at their guru and ask him.

Why are you saving the scorpion? It is because of him that you are crying in pain.

The guru smiles and says.

Dear children, It is his nature to sting and it is mine to save him. It can’t differentiate good from the bad, but I can.

Just like the river’s nature is to flow, the sun’s nature is to rise. It is scorpion’s nature to sting. Besides, he is in a situation in which he isn’t at peace. He is a victim of his karma. So this behavior of his is totally normal.

The saint catches the scorpion again in his palm, this time as the scorpion has used all his venom. He is harmless and isn’t attacking anymore. He realizes that the saint isn’t harmful to him and he calmly sits in his palm. The saint takes him to the bank of the river, puts him on the ground, and saves its life.

He asks his disciples to bring paste of a plant that will ease the pain. He applies the paste, and after sometime when the pain is reduced. He offers his prayer and goes back to his place.

In our life also we might face a similar situation or might have been in one. It is up to us to act according to the situation using our intellect. Every creature on this planet is by default created harmless in nature with some defense mechanism inbuilt. It is the circumstances that make them evil.

Moral of the story

  1. Don’t give away your happiness
  2. Circumstances are not in your hands; actions are.
  3. Throw away your superiority complex
  4. You can win your enemy; if you give enough chances.
  5. Be kind, pure, honest, compassionate, and rest leave it to the Karma.

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