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The Old Man's Story


By Michelle Tan
            One peaceful day at the chapel, an old man called Master, offered his prayers when one of his students approached him. He noticed his student was filled with anxiety and skepticism, which made him scared but preferred to look calm.
"Come here, my child", said the Master. "What worries you?"
"Sir, recently I have noticed how many people reject my opinions and views in life. People refused to listen to my ideas. Sometimes, I wonder, if then will come a day when I will be frightened with my own ideas, too."

The old man humbly listened to the child and responded to his student's question,
"Master, why is it that adults are afraid of the youth? Why are most adults threatened to be overcome by one of those they have raised? Why are people afraid to feel inferior?"
           
"Well, my dear," he reveals a pocket mirror to his student, "see this mirror? It's you and them at the same time. For now, pretend that they are you and you are the reflection. How would you feel if your reflection refuses to follow your gestures?" And he smiled to his student and continued, "Everybody would be shocked if that happened, of course, and would do anything to hinder it from its "freedom" as abided by the law of its "limitations". Some of the adults feel that the youth will become successful when they are able to settle with the same footprints as theirs. The youth, on one hand, would stumble to fill into someone's shoes. Now child, look at the mirror once more."
The student obeyed, and the old man continued with his preach.
"Child, who do you see in the mirror? Are you seeing borrowed portions of your parents' features or are you seeing a unique pupil that can never be replaced or duplicate in any time in this century? Whatever your answer is, it would be your choice on which side you would want to project: the dominant or the submissive. Both would frighten anyone because your choices make consequences, and sometimes you are not given the option to choose."

The student looks at the mirror once again, observing the object and how it accurately copies each movement the student would do. 

The master simply smiled.
The Old Man's Story The Old Man's Story Reviewed by Michelle Tan on 5:16 PM Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Remember your high school zen story? here is my work at sophomore year

    ReplyDelete

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