Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 45

45. Encouraging a Spirit of Kindness

There was a particular seinen (young male attendant) who would fall asleep and miss making the rounds while on night duty. This became a hot topic of conversation and the Honseki walked in when a few seinens were in the middle of discussing it. He then asked them:

“Who do you think is at fault? The person who fell asleep or the person who is awake?”

To this the seinens replied without reservation, “Of course, the one at fault is the person who fell asleep.”

The Honseki then reproved:

“That is not the case. The person who fell asleep has done so because of his causality. The failure to wake him when one is nearby fully awake reveals a lack of kindness on one’s part.”

When the Honseki explained in this way, the seinens came to a new realization and nodded their heads in agreement.

(From Ten no jogi p. 152)

*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.