A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a young woman who was also attempting to cross.
The younger monk noticed the woman, said nothing and walked by. The older monk quickly picked her up and put her on his back, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other side. She didn’t thank the monk, she just shoved him out of the way and departed.
The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them.
Two more hours passed, then three, and finally, the younger monk couldn’t contain himself any longer and blurted out, “That woman back there was incredibly selfish and rude, but you picked her up on your back and carried her! Then she didn’t even thank you!”
The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river hours ago. So why are you still carrying her?”
What’s the Lesson?
There are so many opportunities in implementation to carry baggage. Deep-rooted change ruffles feathers, which means you will sometimes need to carry many people, and their problems to the end goal. And a percentage of those people will not thank you and will not appreciate your efforts. That has got to be ok with you – you can’t carry those individuals after Launch.
So, what are you carrying? And how long have you been carrying it? Sometimes it’s easier to deal with an unfortunate situation in the moment and then move on than it is to not deal with it (for various reasons) and then carry the consequence of that choice. In other words, the weight of a path not taken can sometimes be more damaging than the one taken.
References and Resources
“A Heavy Load” Story from Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth