Published on July 21, 2009
Learning From Insults Insults are words or acts which offend the honour of others. They belittle, ridicule or slander other people. As good Buddhists, we should practise Right Speech – to refrain from lying, using harsh speech, slander and gossip or frivolous talk. We should not hurt others with insults. Some people think that , sometimes insults meant as jokes or given in humour are harmless. I do not wish to argue on this and I leave it to your better judgement. However, we must be careful and mindful and use our wisdom. When other people hurl insults at us, we should • practise patience and tolerance. • check ourselves from getting angry. • take it as an opportunity to practise patience and humility. • look at ourselves to see if we can correct any of our faults and weaknesses. • view them positively (and perhaps in lighten vein ). If we need to defend ourselves , explain or clarify, then do so calmly, with tact and METTA. The following is a fictitious and humourous presentation of some insults. Examine and reflect on them and see what Dhamma elements you can learn from them. Mr. Pang Tuah Pow ( Hokkien pun for “exaggerating” ) is like a Microscope – he magnifies everything ! Reflection: Beware of our speech. Be mindful. Nobody likes the “Boaster” or the “Egoist”. Exaggerating can amount to lying – a break of the 4th Precept. When Mr Chew Sian Ong ( Hokkien pun for “King Drinker” ) drinks, he loses his inhibitions and gives exhibitions ! Reflection : When one drinks liquor, intoxication can result. A break of the 5th Precept can lead to breaching the other 4 Precepts – abusing and even killing others; stealing and cheating; molesting; wrong speech. 1
It’s easy to recognize En. Boh San Kan ( Malay pun for Mr. “Boring” ). If you see two fellows together and one looks bored, he’s the other. Reflection: We need to be very mindful in our interaction with others. Too often, we bore others with long, long empty talks. However, we have to practise patience in being good listeners when others talk ! When Mr Chin Chow Khar ( Hokkien pun for Mr. “Dishonest”) left his last apartment, his landlady actually wept – he owed six months’ rent. Reflection: Today, there is so much Dukkha that arises out of our greed – desire and greed for money and material wealth, name and position, power and status. There are a lot of “Kiasu’s” all over. Too many, too often just care about themselves. We cheat, we lie , we use questionable methods to ACHIEVE, to GET and to ATTAIN ! “ You said your name is ‘ Mo Lay Mau’ ( Cantonese pun for “ No Manners” ) ? I am sorry I couldn’t remember but your nasty manners are certainly familiar.” Reflection: These days, in the mad rush in the rat race, we too often forget some very important principles of Human Relationship. And one of these is manners and courtesy. We take things for granted and lack the human touch. We forget the great importance of words like “Thank You”, “Please”, “Sorry”, “Excuse Me”, “How are you?” “Good Day” and so on. No one likes an ill-mannered and self-centred person. Beware ! When Miss Quah Kwan Lan ( Hokkien pun for Miss “ Look up to Status “) is courting you, she is deciding whether she can get someone better ! Reflection : It’s a highly materialistic world today. It’s indeed strange that so many people live as if life is permanent and certain. When we contemplate on the fact of uncertainty and impermanence, then perhaps we can see the urgency for Dhamma practice before it is too late. We need to integrate Dhamma Practice into our ever increasingly busy lives. 2
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