The Power of Language
One day, The Buddha and his disciples were on their way to another village. As they reached the outskirts of the village, The Buddha saw an old, blind beggar sitting at the fork in the road. He had a piece of parchment in his lap which read “I am blind. Please help!”. Many people were passing by but no one was putting any coins into his bowl. The Buddha approached the old man and looked into his bowl. It was empty. Feeling sorry for him, The Buddha decided to help the old beggar. He turned to one of his disciples and said “Bring me some paint and a large piece of parchment.” When the disciple brought these to The Buddha, he dipped the brush in paint and wrote something in bold letters across the parchment. Then, he asked his disciple to replace the old parchment with the new one. Then, bowing down to the old man, The Buddha and his disciple went on their way. Soon after, people started putting coins into the old beggar’s bowl. One by one, passersby stopped, read the message on the parchment and dropped coins into the bowl. By evening, the bowl was filled with coins. The old beggar was astonished. When the last person dropped coins into his bowl, the beggar stopped him and asked “Brother, can you please tell me what is written on this parchment? Someone placed it in my lap and since then, people have become so generous!” The stranger said “Old man, this is what it says: It is a beautiful day. You can see it...but I cannot!” The old man was filled with gratitude. With tears in his eyes, he bowed his head in respect for the unnamed stranger who had written that message and helped him. Moral: Our choice of words and use of language can either have a positive or negative impact on other people. Language is a great power and the one who knows how to use it effectively can truly connect with people and change their views.