1 MIN READING: Each to his/her own destiny

Illustration by Ken Crane

EM PORTUGUES AQUI: Somos diferentes

A Samurai who was known for his nobility and honesty, went to visit a Zen monk to ask him for his advice.
When the monk had finished his prayers, the Samurai asked,

– Why do I feel so inferior? – I have faced death many times, have defended those who are weak.
“Nevertheless, upon seeing you meditating, I felt that my life had absolutely no importance whatsoever.

– Wait. Once I have attended to all those who come to see me today, I shall answer you.

The samurai spent the whole day sitting in the temple gardens, watching the people go in and out in search of advice. He saw how the monk received them all with the same patience and the same illuminated smile on his face.

At nightfall, when everyone had gone, he demanded:
– Now can you teach me?

The master invited him in and lead him to his room. The full moon shone in the sky, and the atmosphere was one of profound tranquility.

– Do you see the moon, how beautiful it is? It will cross the entire firmament, and tomorrow the sun will shine once again.
“But sunlight is much brighter, and can show the details of the landscape around us: trees, mountains, clouds.
“I have contemplated the two for years, and have never heard the moon say: why do I not shine like the sun? Is it because I am inferior?

– Of course not – answered the samurai. – The moon and the sun are different things, each has its own beauty. You cannot compare the two.

– So you know the answer. We are two different people, each fighting in his own way for that which he believes, and making it possible to make the world a better place; the rest are mere appearances.

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  1. Andriy says:

    Two different things and two different people should not be compared since they are two different and separate beings. There are characteristics within them that makes them unique which is incomparable to other being as well.

  2. Rooftop Tent says:

    The point of view of different men are really interesting. I was really amazed how the monk was able to point out important things over to the samurai.

  3. The Zen monk was kind enough to tell the Samurai not to fear or be insecure with the differences that they both have as individuals. The Samurai should have appreciated what he has now in his hands than compare what he had with the Zen Monk.

  4. Ken Crane says:

    translation in Japanese:



    「なぜ私はいつも気が引けるのですか? 私は何度も死に直面している、それに弱い人々を助け守っている。それにもかかわらず、あなたの瞑想を見ていると、私は自分の人生には何も重要性がないと感じてしまうのです」








  5. Yilmaz says:

    Some people watch. Others write. Again others speak. And some even act. All bring change, except the former.


  6. Linda D says:

    How wonderful to honor each others differences rather than be afraid.

  7. Yon says:

    Happy to read a very profound message:)

  8. Anju Varma says:

    In my opinion, waiting developes patience which is a great virtue. Also, it helps us introspect and sometimes find our own answers to our ques. In this story, while the Samurai waited, he saw the day turn into night.This made it easier for him to understand the respective inmoprtance of sun and moon. He also observed the monk attend to all his followers with same patience and calmness which made him realise that we all have our different qualities which help us citribute to the universe thus proving the need and importance of every individual to this gameplan of the Almighty!!!

  9. zeinab says:

    does this mean not to compare ourselves to others?????

  10. Marie-Christine says:

    S amour ai
    there is love

    mon k
    my key

    Love is your key

    Happy Easter everyone.

    1. Brigitte says:

      Bonjour Marie-Christine,
      Ce que tu viens d’écrire si magnifiquement en cette belle alchimie de mots s’apparente í  ce que l’on dénomme “le language des oiseaux”, comme un code déchiffré vers l’essence du sujet.
      Merci pour ce partage et cette clé que tu nous livres.
      Bonne journée

    2. Marie-Christine says:

      Merci Brigitte.
      J’ai entendu parle du “language des oiseaux”.
      Oui, c’est comme un code que j’utilise qui rassemble toutes les langues.
      Pour moi, cela veut dire que nous sommes issus de la meme racine.
      J’aime ton site, tes traductions et tes poemes.

  11. irish says:

    We are all created to shine in our own way. One cannot be compared to another.