Monday, December 15, 2003

Kung Fu Story

"You don't respect me. You never did. I was never, to your eyes, good enough to join your school and meditate at this Temple," the Novice said to his four Masters. He pointed to the first-- "To you, I'm too poor to pay for your training. You only train me haphazardly to ease your own conscience." He turned to the second, and said "To you, my form is always bad. But I see you using it." The student turned to the third master, and said, "You, Third Master, you think I do not put enough effort in my work. But you don't know how much I bleed for this Temple." To the fourth, he said, "And you don't listen to me at all! Has it not occured to you that I may have something important to contribute?"

His masters looked on in stony silence at the impertinent Novice.

"I will leave this Temple," said the Novice. "You will not miss me and your life will go on. But we will meet again at a time and place of my choosing. And when we do, we will meet as equals."

The Novice picked up his pack. The finality of what he was about to do frightened him-- the Temple was all he knew. But he had too much pride to crawl back to his Masters and beg their indulgence. He looked at the road, contemplating this new, and undoubtedly long journey of... what? foolishness? desparation? discovery? He smiled. Leaning on his walking stick, he walked calmly out the Temple archway, never looking back.

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