One day the Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him, hurling all kinds of rude words at him, intended to ridicule and demean him.
The Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the young man, “Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?”
The young man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “It would belong to me, because I bought the gift.”
The Buddha smiled and said, “That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself.”
Source: A variation of a shorter story falsely attributed to Buddha
People can and will offer us their words, opinions and points of view. None of that can hurt us unless we let it first land in our heart and mind.
- Holding on the anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. (exact source unknown)
- Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of harming another; you end up getting burned. (exact source unknown)