Chapter6-1 : “Why don’t you treat me better?” Criticizing others is not the way to resolve the probl
We all want to be treated well, highly regarded, and needed by others.
When family and others we love treat us well, we feel very happy and fortunate.
When family and friends show that they need us, we have the courage to do our best in our lives.
On the other hand, if people are unkind, or ignore us, or make us feel we are unneeded, we feel very lonely and unhappy.
How, then, can we become a person who is treated well and highly regarded?
Asking others, “Why aren’t you nicer to me?” or “Why don’t you show more regard for me?” will not solve the problem.
Actually, there is a universal way of planting seeds that will lead to our being treated well and highly regarded, regardless of the age or country we happen to live in.
Shakyamuni Buddha called this “the practice of giving.”
The original term in the language of ancient India was dāna, whose basic meaning is “to give,” and the Indian term gave rise to the word for “patron” (danna) in Japanese.
So nowadays the owner of a sushi shop may call out “Welcome, danna!” or a Japanese wife may refer to her husband as “our danna.”
But the original meaning of danna is “one who gives.”
Of course, to the sushi shop owner, the customer is one who gives him money, and to the housewife, her husband is the breadwinner who supports the whole household.
At any rate, the virtue of giving means giving something of value to those around us in a spirit of kind consideration.
There are many, many people who are troubled by a lack of money or necessities, or if not that, then who are hungry for human kindness, or who are depressed by a succession of failures, or who need someone to listen to their problems, or who have lost their joy in living.
Shakyamuni Buddha teaches: “Give what you can with kindness and consideration, whether it be money or necessities, a smile or a kind word—it need not be a great thing outwardly.”
If you interact with others in a spirit of kindness and consideration, you will receive kindness and consideration from others in return.
If you act selfishly, no one will trouble to care about you.
The attitude you have taken toward others will return to you in the form of others’ attitude toward you.
In psychology there is something called the principle of repayment.
It means that people feel they must make a return for what others have done for them.
Thus, if someone gives you a present on your birthday, you feel you should give him one on his birthday.
In the same way, if you are kind to others, others will be kind to you.
If you show regard for others, others will show regard for you.
If, however, you are cold and selfish in your behavior, people around you will dislike you and distance themselves from you.
Some people take this principle for granted, but I think there are many who in fact do not act on it.
If you want to be highly regarded, the method of ensuring that is simple.
All you have to do is to be kind and considerate of others.
In this chapter, we’ll talk about how to plant seeds so that you will be treated well and regarded highly by others, focusing on the practice of giving as taught by Shakyamuni Buddha.