Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mini-learnings from the Monk who Stole the Cow

  1. As I write this blog, I would like my story to contain practical applications for my own "personal" life and for friends that I meet along the way. The following are not "deep thoughts" - but not everything has to be "deep"!
  2. If the Monk came to stay with me today, what “cow” might he steal?
  3. Can I apply some of these mini-learnings to improve my interpersonal relationships - at home, at school, at work?
# The Monk had a positive, optimistic attitude, combined with genuine interest in the other, which allowed him to win the family’s respect – respect that was mutual.
# The first minute of any new interaction creates a lasting impression – one that is that may be difficult to change. Years later, the Brother – who by then had become a Monk – was guided by that firs impression.

# The Monk listened more than he talked. If we find ourselves talking too much about us, our experiences, our interests or our job, then we’re probably not listening enough to the other.

# The Brother, years later, remembered the family and took time to seek them out on his own journey. In the light of the outcome, I wonder if he apologized for stealing the cow? The Brother remembered interesting information about his friends and acquaintances. Today he would write down details like their birthdays, their family members and interests. The Monk always remembered what others told him about themselves.

# The Brother and the Monk always spoke positively about others. No matter how difficult it might have been, they were bound in Charity not to criticize. Criticism undermines friendships and damages our relationships. The Brother did not criticize the Monk who told him to steal the cow. He knew that, invariably, there are two sides to every story.

# The Brother’s greeting was warm and friendly – after all he was asking for alms and he always seems to have been invited in. It is good to develop a warm and friendly greeting. The Brother knew that he only had one chance to create a good impression.

# The Brother and the Monk were very likeable – the family didn’t suspect that he stole the cow! The Monk was also competent and well prepared. That is why he people invited him in and why he was good at his “business”.

# The Monk had the family’s best interest at heart and he certainly helped – although it might not have seemed so at the time. People who are genuinely interested in others, who are enthusiastic and eager to help, are generally well liked.

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