Chapter6-9 : Throw away all Bills for Kindnesses Rendered The good seeds you plant will always produ
When we have done a kindness to someone, we expect an expression of thanks or happiness at our kindness.
Our hearts seem to demand it.
If there are no words of thanks that satisfy us, or if the response to our kindness seems lukewarm, we may think, regretfully, “I shouldn’t have bothered,” and rebuke the other person in our hearts.
The more we have done for someone, the stronger the feeling of dissatisfaction becomes: we feel like shoving a bill for kindnesses rendered at them, as if to say, “Look at all I’ve done for you!
You should at least be pleased!”
After having done someone a good turn, it seems a shame to end by resenting him or her and suffering psychologically oneself.
Shakyamuni Buddha teaches us: “You need not present a bill for return of kindnesses done to someone else. The good seeds that you have sown will always yield good fruit for you eventually.”
So if there are no words of thanks or other return made to you, you should feel that you have made a savings deposit in the bank.
The Buddha also teaches us: “When you do a kindness, take care to forget that ‘I’ did ‘such-and-such’ for ‘so-and-so.’ These are known as the Three Things to Be Forgotten.”
If you plant good seeds, a good result will certainly come to you.
Sometimes it may come directly from the person you did a kindness to.
Sometimes it may come to you in a quite different form.
Sometimes it will come to you in a matter of days, sometimes years later.
Even if you completely forget about it, it will definitely come back to you, so let us throw away the bill that states “I” did “such-and-such a thing” for “you.”
If you remain always conscious of your good deed, your attitude will become like that of a lender who keeps on presenting his bill, demanding, “Just when are you going to pay me back?”
Then the object of your kindness will start feeling it as a burden, and think, “I didn’t ask you to do it, you know!” or “If you’re going to go on about it like this, you shouldn’t have done it in the first place!”
How regrettable it would be if something you did for the sake of someone else should become the cause of a quarrel between the two of you!
“I do everything for my boyfriend, but he’s not grateful in the least!”
“I work so hard for my company, but my boss doesn’t acknowledge my efforts.”
“I work as hard as I can for the sake of my family, but my wife and kids don’t seem to care.”
“I do all the housework and caring for our children without any help, but my husband doesn’t even realize how hard it is.”
Everybody has unhappy thoughts like these.
At such times, let’s try to bear in mind the concept of the Three Things to Be Forgotten, namely, the sense that “I” did “such-and-such” for “so-and-so.”
Then we will be able to relax, deal with those around us in a natural way, and show kindness to them—an unforced kindness that they in turn will find easy to accept.
And then all kinds of messages of thanks will come to you in various forms.
It’s strange but true that, as you stop looking for returns for your kindness to others, they come of themselves, more and more.