The Best Return for Kindness
When one receives and is touched by the kindness of others, he often wants to repay the same and more one day. For example, after receiving some financial assistance, the poor person may promise himself, “When I am rich, I will repay him twice as much.”
This is, of course, human nature. But I am afraid your wish may not come true if you are too tenacious to hold it. First, there is no guarantee that you will get rich. Second, even if you get rich, there is no guarantee that the benefactor will still be there. Third, even if you make a fortune and the benefactor is still there, there is no guarantee that he or she will accept your money in return.
In fact, the best form of reciprocation is to accept the benefactor’s kindness and live a meaningful life. There is no better form of repayment than that because it is living that endows the meaning of kindness. Otherwise, we cannot begin to speak of the word “kindness”; least of all, “repaying the kindness.”
The sun shines on and is present in all living things on earth and makes them vibrant. In return, they transform it in the form of a renewed and vivid life. Can they repay the sun? The best way to reciprocate is to thrive and flourish.
Water nourishes and moisturizes flowers and trees. The best return is to absorb the moisture, blossom, and release the fragrance.
Our lives depend on thousands of beneficial conditions every day. If we were to give back the same way, the world would be monotonous and alienated. Living a prosperous and vibrant life is the right way of expressing our gratitude to the heavens and earth. Since all phenomena arise on dependent conditions, there is no design of expecting kindnesses in return.
(Translated and edited by the Pure Land School of Translation Team)
Faith in, and acceptance of, Amitabha’s deliverance
Single-minded recitation of Amitabha’s name
Aspiration to rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land
Comprehensive deliverance of all sentient beings