Two monks were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was falling. Coming around the bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.
“Come on, girl,” said the first monk. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.
The second monk did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. “We monks don’t go near females,” he said. “It is dangerous. Why did you do that?”
“I left the girl there,” the first monk said. “Are you still carrying her?”
This terrific Zen tale helps us understand a couple of things.
- That there is value in breaking tradition for the sake of the good. The good being your intention, provided it does not upset the team’s intention.
- Harboring ill will about the actions of others only slows you on your path to prosperity.
In work and life, we are often asked to go beyond our comfort zones or that which we’ve come to learn as “The way we’ve always done it.”