Posts Tagged wisdom

Responsibility

Hakuin was a Zen Buddhist monk. He attained a reputation of being pure and upright. One day, a girl in a village near his monastery became pregnant. Her parents were furious and demanded to know the identity of the father. She said, “Hakuin is the father.” Her parents ran to the monastery and pounded on the door. They told Hakuin that he had better take care of this child about to be born, otherwise he would be in trouble. Hakuin simply replied, “Is that so?” The child was born. Hakuin took custody of the child and arranged for a wet nurse. His reputation was shattered. He dutifully cared for the child for his or her first year of life. Now the girl finally confessed. Hakuin was not the father of her child. The father was a boy who lived in the village. The girl’s parents returned to the monastery. They apologized profusely saying they were very sorry they had accused Hakuin of something he had not done. They took the baby back with them. Hakuin watched as they returned to their home with the child he had cared for since birth and replied “Is that so?”

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