The Gift of Abuse

By: Author Unknown

A tale is told about the Buddha, Gautama (563-483BC), the
Indian prince and spiritual leader whose teachings founded
Buddhism. This short story illustrates that every one of us
has the choice whether or not to take personal offence from
another person’s behaviour.

It is said that on an occasion when the Buddha was teaching
a group of people, he found himself on the receiving end of
a fierce outburst of abuse from a bystander, who was for
some reason very angry.

The Buddha listened patiently while the stranger vented his
rage, and then the Buddha said to the group and to the
stranger, “If someone gives a gift to another person, who
then chooses to decline it, tell me, who would then own the
gift? The giver or the person who refuses to accept the

“The giver,” said the group after a little thought. “Any
fool can see that,” added the angry stranger.

“Then it follows, does it not,” said the Buddha, “Whenever
a person tries to abuse us, or to unload their anger on us,
we can each choose to decline or to accept the abuse;
whether to make it ours or not. By our personal response to
the abuse from another, we can choose who owns and keeps
the bad feelings.”

As this is the truth and you have the choice, choose wisely and do not adopt anger and abuse as part of you.

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