Only two bricks in the wall
Only two bricks in the wall
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The following is a story from a book I read.
It happened in Australia when a group of Buddhist monks were building a temple with the generous help and support of the lay community.
One of the monks was given the task of building the wall. Day after day, he patiently laid the bricks with cement. When he was done, 1000 bricks were laid. Then, he saw two of the bricks were misaligned and did not look properly laid.
This misfit drove the monk nuts. He asked the head monk if he could demolish the wall and rebuild.
The head monk refused saying that it was good enough the way it was and destroying it would be unnecessary.
The monk had nightmares about the two bricks. Each time he guided visitors through this temple, he would avoid this particular location where the wall was.
One day, he found himself within sight of the wall with a visitor who told him that the wall was beautiful.
The monk was shocked and asked the visitor if he had problems with his eyesight for he could not see the misfit.
The monk : “A nice wall? Don’t you see those two bad bricks?”
The man answered : “Yes, I see those bad bricks but I also see the other 998 good bricks”
From that moment onwards, the monk was grateful for this wall and in particular those two bricks.
A few months later, a construction worker told him that even they make those kind of mistakes every time they build walls. They call it a fixture and even charge the client more.
Isn’t it a good story? It is so relevant to the way we perceive ourselves and life.
We can get obsessed over one small negative detail of our life that we forget that the rest of it ain’t all that bad.
Let me give you an example. When I was a teenager, I had acne and it left me with some “trauma” till today.
If I get a small zit or blemish, I would sometimes drive myself nuts even though it is nothing and the rest of my face is good and clear.
And this is just a physical matter. What about the negativity we carry around in our minds? Like a heavy load that is crippling us.
We focus solely on this small part of us that is seemingly negative and forget about the other parts of us which are wholesome and good.
Even when the body is sick, even if you have a cancer. Do not forget that the tumour, the cancer, the sickness is only one part of you, your body is not the whole. Yet, we tend only to focus and to obsess over the negative. Getting attached to it. Giving it too much attention that often translates into hopelessness, despair and depression.
We forsake all that is good and we focus only on the “bad”. The two bad bricks in the wall were just a tiny detail, a small misfit. It was definitely not the be all and end all.
Yet the monk was obsessed with this small detail until his eyes opened and the wisdom kicked in.
We are so blinded by our negativity that we forget and forsake the good. The other 998 good bricks that make the wall, our lives and ourselves are not only good enough but are beautiful too.
We have to learn to see this beauty in ourselves and let go of the bad. We don’t need to suppress, repress or deny it. However, we also don’t need to be obsessed and be guilty about our negativity.
We can focus on the good in ourselves to lessen the bad. Do not forget that with a little bit of wisdom you can turn it to something that will benefit you.
As mentioned above, a construction worker told the monk that mistakes which occurred during the building process are called fixtures and some charged extra cost to the client.
The same thing can be said about your life. You can find a silver lining. Your suffering, your guilt, your depression, your flaws can be a fixture as well.
You don’t need to charge anybody but you can start being in charge. You can accept it, embrace it and hopefully grow from those seemingly bad moments .... bad things that are inevitable in life.
Learn to see with your heart that all the negativity in your life are mostly just two bad bricks.
Learn to see the good you have in you and the beauty in you and in your life. Don’t just be another brick in the wall.
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