Once there was a father who had a son complaining all the time. One particular day, his son was complaining too much and the father wanted to fix his bad attitude for good and called his son. “My son, sit down here.” He called his son and made him sit in front of him and said, “Son, I really wish that you listen to whatever I say today and do as I tell you to do this once.” The son got alarmed and said that he would do. The father asked him to go to the kitchen and bring a handful of salt and a cup of water. When his son came back, he said, “Now put the salt you have in your hand into the cup and stir the water.” The son did as he was told and stirred the water of the cup after adding the salt. Then the father said, “My son, now drink the water.” The son was reluctant to do it, but since he promised that he would do anything his father told him to do, he drank the water. Immediately he frowned and looked at his father as if he was asking what it was all about. At that moment his father asked him, “What does it taste like?” “It is salty,” said his son.
Now the father told the son to bring a handful of salt again and took him to a lake and told him to put the salt into the lake. And he gave his son a stick to stir the salt water so that the salt would melt. The son stirred the water until he could not see any salt and looked at his father. His father told him to scoop up a cup of water from the lake and told him to drink. He dipped the cup and drank water from the lake. When he had finished, his father asked again, “What does it taste like?” The son said, “It is so refreshing and even it tastes sweet.” After listening to his son, the father told him. “What did you learn from this?” The son looked at him obediently. Then the father said, “Son, you are always complaining for everything. When something unpleasant happens, you show immediate response for it by complaining. You are like the water in the cup. When something happens, you are affected by it and summit yourself to it just like the water in the cup. When a small amount of salt was added to it, it became salty immediately even though it was clean and good in the beginning. But now think about the water from the lake. Even though you added the same amount of salt in it, it did not lose its taste and its taste seems to have improved after the salt was added.”
His father continued, “I hope you become like the water in the lake and you would accept bad things and change them into something good. You should not easily be influenced by things happening around you; rather you must keep yourself calm and give positive influence to others when something bad happens.”
Mother gave us one teaching. It says:
As the sea receives all the dirt and purifies it, we should have a broad and beautiful mind enough to cover up even the faults of our brothers and sisters. (Teachings of Mother)
In the same way, the story teaches us the same thing: not to complain. Rather, we should have broad mind to accept and purify bad things into something people can enjoy.