bamboo forest

Life Is a Losing Game

“Can I just say something?” 

One day I just had to go up to Oshosama, the abbot of the temple, to tell him that.

That day, I was helping some people all day inside the temple which I thought I was doing as a favour. But none of them shared any resemblance of appreciation for what I did. I should never expect anything in return any time any way. Always do it for my own pleasure, and on my own account. YES I KNOW THAT, but I am  also a human. After hours of serving with no emotional reward, I had to let it all out.

I angrily walked into the living room, Oshosama was writing a letter with his usual brush and ink.

“I feel like I’m taken for granted,” I bursted out. My rants went on. I’m sure my cheeks were flushed red.

I thought he’d tell me off for expecting something in return, or even breaking into his daily work. But he listened, and said “it’s not fair that they made you feel that way.” 

I was surprised. My tension suddenly deflated. The tears I was holding in started running down. 

He carried on, “you know, it’s not like I’m shown respect from them, either. But it’s not fair that you felt that way.”

“They do that to you, too?”

“Yes, of course, in a different way. But life is a continuous losing game anyway. You teach 100 disciples and 99 out of them spit on your face in return.”

I didn’t know what to say.

Later I learnt the “1 out of 100” rule: the biggest mission in Oshosama’s life is to find someone who can outdo himself, better his wisdom, and pass it onto the next generation. Till he finds the “one”, he keeps on going, giving, even if the next one may spit on his face again.

Life is a losing game, if you count the number. However, knowing that the “one” rewards all the losses in the past, life may be more than what you can count.


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