Two monks were washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion that was drowning. One monk immediately scooped it up and set it upon the bank. In the process he was stung. He went back to washing his bowl and again the scorpion fell in. The monk saved the scorpion and was again stung.
The other monk asked him, “Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know it’s nature is to sting?”
“Because, to sting is the dharma of the scorpion”the monk replied, “and to save life is my dharma. If a scorpion can’t leave its dharma, why should I leave my dharma?”
This story answers your question.
If you are nice, you must be nice all the time for all the people including those who are bad for you. If you are a bad person for those who are bad to you, you shall be treated as a bad person.
It is easy to preach such stories to anyone but it takes the deepest understanding of human nature to follow the wisdom of such stories. Let me explain why this story should make sense even to a rational person who believes in ‘eye for eye’ policy.
Rationality for Being Nice
You have a natural desire to respond the person in the same way as the person has behaved with you. Hence, if someone is nasty to you,there is a natural urge in you to be nasty to him or her. If you try to be nice to him following your policy of being nice to everyone, it would create an anger within you that disturbs your peace of mind.
However, you will soon realize the benefit of being nice all the time to all the people when you will find that the person who had been nasty to you also follows the same law and try to be nicer to you next time responding to your nice gesture.
In this way, you have transformed a ‘nasty person’ to be a ‘nice person’.
This is the best way to win an enemy.
You will then be able to understand the true meaning of the words of Abraham Lincoln: “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”