A man was nailing the wall with a hammer. His left hand was holding the nail while the right holds the hammer. Pound, pound, pound.
“Ouch!” suddenly the man shouted. He has hit his left hand with the hammer. Or if you like, his right hand (that is holding the hammer) has hit his left hand (that is holding the nail).
Do you know what have happened next?
The right hand threw away the hammer to hold the left hand. The left hand was hurting and focusing on the pain. Both worked together to best ease the pain.
What do you think would have happened had the incident been between two humans? A hit B. A could have run away. A could have acted as if nothing had happened. Or A could have scolded B for being careless—applying the ‘scold first before being scolded’ principle.
B, on the other hand, might have looked at A with anger and hatred. B would have blamed A for what had just happened. B would have held grudges and at the back of the mind keep this memory in tact and secretly plan for a revenge some day.
But not the hands. The right hand did not run away. It could not. Both hands were united in one body. The right hand straightforwardly forgot what it was doing to tend for the left hand. The left hand did not hold any grudges and did not even think of having a revenge at the right hand.
Things happen. Both hands work together to make the best out of it. They feel for each other. They are connected with each other. They know that, at the end of the day, they are one and interconnected. Nobody blames anybody else. They just work together.
The magnificent human body is a microcosmic view of how the universe inter-relates and how humans should treat one another. Very few pay attention, though.
-a story by Thich Nhat Hanh told during those conversations with Nat in Bangkok.