Words of Wisdom


18/05/2024 | Words of Wisdom    
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Caller: What is the difference between tolerance and cowardice?

Master Jun Hong Lu: Cowardice means the person has no psychological endurance. This person is afraid of everything and dares not stand up against others. Such a person is faint-hearted, not having the unyielding willpower nor determination. Hence, they fear everything they encounter. This is called “cowardice”.

Tolerance, on the other hand, is when you are certain that the other party is at fault but because you are a Buddhist practitioner, you are determined to exercise restraint and resolve the issue. This is what tolerance means.

To explain in more detail. When your husband scolds you, if you keep silent, this is endurance.

Caller: Yes.

Master Jun Hong Lu: In another case, the moment your husband scolds you, you hide in the room in fright, scared of every remark he hurls at you. This is cowardice. In the former example, you are not afraid, but for the sake of the family and to avoid quarrelling with him, you reason, “I shall tolerate”.

Caller: I see. Some Buddhist friends are of the view that I am too timid because I am reluctant to fight for certain things in life. But in my opinion, there is no point in doing so.

Master Jun Hong Lu: The best is not to contend with others because the Buddhist teaching is about non-contention. This is why Buddhist practitioners should not fight with others. Those who ask you to fight, argue, quarrel with others are demons.

Caller: I might be able to lay my hands on things that I fight for, but to me, there isn’t a point to fight with others for things that are not rightfully mine. But, this Buddhist friend told me, “You are too timid. You should fight for it because it is rightfully yours”. I replied, “What’s meant to be mine will come naturally to me without having to fight for it”.

Master Jun Hong Lu: Exactly!

Source: Wenda20131201A 45:25, Master Jun Hong Lu’s radio call-in program

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