The sage Takuan had many followers.
Among them was an old man, whose name no one remembered. He was a bit weird.
One day, this old man sent his servant to Takuan to invite the master to a meal after the ceremony.
“However modest my food is, I want Takuan to taste my boiled rice with barley in my house,” – the old man said to the servant.
Takuan, who loved this dish, readily accepted the invitation and went to visit the old man. There he was offered a large plate full of porridge of rice and barley.
There was no seasoning for the old man’s porridge.
Usually unpretentious, Takuan thought this time: “Can not the old man give any seasoning to the rice?”
But there was no time to ask questions, as the mouth was busy with the delicious porridge.
The old man sat quietly in front of the guest, waiting for the end of the meal.
When the sage’s stomach was full, he got up to leave, but the old man stopped him and asked:
“Takuan-san, I treated you with boiled rice, and you leave without even thanking me. Are monks doing this?
“You invited me to try boiled rice with barley. You did not invite me to say thank you to you,” – Takuan replied without delay and quickly left the house.
This answer touched the old man, and he decided someday he will recoup on Takuan.
One day, when the old man was thinking about how to catch the sage at his word, Takuan ran into his house and exclaimed: “It’s pouring in the street, lend me, please, an umbrella.”
The old man was glad of the opportunity to recoup and politely offered him what he asked. The old man was sure that this time Takuan would thank him, but this did not happen again.
Takuan quickly left the house and soon sent a young monk to return the taken umbrella. The monk looked like his master – he did not thank the old man, but only left the umbrella and left the house.
A few days later Takuan and the old man met for tea. The old man decided that it was time to talk about everything, and started from afar:
“You were unlucky on the day when the rain caught you on the street, right?”
“Yes, no luck. I hope the young monk returned to you the umbrella!” – replied Takuan.
“Of course, returned. It was very nice of you,” – said the old man, noticing that he himself was thanking Takuan. How could he allow such a mistake?
Takuan was sitting opposite the old man and smiling. The old man could not restrain himself any longer and blurted out:
“Takuan-san, you are not well brought up. You could at least say “thank you” to me!”
“If I say thank you, then I will repay you my debt,” – Takuan said in a calm voice. – I always thanked you for myself and never forget your kindness.
If a person expects gratitude for his kindness, this is not real kindness.
You should not expect that you will witness the joy of others and hear their praise.
Good deeds in themselves should give you pleasure, and while giving something to others or helping them, you should not expect a reward. This is real kindness.
You are deceiving yourself if you are doing something good out of vanity or self-righteousness. In doing so, you allow the delusion to enter into you. People are inclined to self-interest.
Doing a favor to others, they tend to get something in return. Nothing is understood in people by those who do not see the difference between kindness and interest.
If you are doing good, guided only by your personal interests, you are making a mistake. If you try to help others with each of your actions, you will never be disappointed.”