What to do when someone “gives” anger? Today, December 26th is Boxing Day. It is on this day when people give gifts to the poor, perhaps the gifts you received on Christmas but did not want to keep. It is also a day to give money or boxes to employees. Happy Boxing Day!
The Buddha has spoken about not accepting gifts in his famous sutta in regard to those who give “anger”. Below is the Buddha’s teaching to someone who was rude to him.
2. Akkosasuttaṃ (The Abuser)
“What do you think, brahmin? Do friends and colleagues, relatives and family members, and guests still come to visit you?”
“Sometimes they do, Master Gotama.”
“Do you then serve them with a variety of foods and savories?”
“Sometimes I do.”
“But if they don’t accept it, brahmin, who does it belong to?”
“In that case it still belongs to me.”
“In the same way, brahmin, when you abuse, harass, and attack us who do not abuse, harass, and attack, we don’t accept it. It still belongs to you, brahmin, it still belongs to you!
Someone who, when abused, harassed, and attacked, abuses, harasses, and attacks in return is said to eat the food and have a reaction to it. But we neither eat your food nor do we have a reaction to it. It still belongs to you, brahmin, it still belongs to you!”
“The king and his retinue believe that Master Gotama is a perfected one. And yet he still gets angry.”
“For one free of anger, tamed, living in balance,
freed by right knowledge,
a poised one who is at peace:
where would anger come from?
When you get angry at an angry person
you just make things worse for yourself.
When you don’t get angry at an angry person
you win a battle hard to win.
When you know that the other is angry,
you act for the good of both
yourself and the other
if you’re mindful and stay calm.
People unfamiliar with the teaching
consider one who heals both
oneself and the other
to be a fool.”