There was an unfortunate young man. When he was ten years old, his mother passed away. His father was driving a long-distance bus, so he had to wash and cook on his own. Seven years later, his father died in a car accident. He became poor with no one to depend on and had to learn to support himself.

At the age of twenty, the young man lost his left leg in an occupational accident. He could only walk with the aid of a crutch. He spent all his savings setting up a fish farm. One day, a flood swept away the fish farm and ruined all his life savings and hopes.

He went to the temple and knelt down in front of the Buddha, weeping. “Buddha, why do you treat me so unfairly?” That night, the Buddha said in his dream, “Why do you feel that I have treated you unfairly?” The young man told all his misfortunes to the Buddha and the Buddha said, “My poor child, then why do you keep living in the human world?” After hearing this, the young man roared with anger, “I would not die. Having gone through so many tragedies, I have actually been eliminating my negative karma. Some day in the future, I’ll be free of karmic debts and I will live a happy life.

The Buddha said, “I will open the door of Hell and you can look inside.” The Buddha then pointed to a ghost and said, “He was lucky. He had a very smooth and wealthy life before his death, but in the end, just like you, he lost all his wealth in a flood. Unlike you, he committed suicide and became a ghost, but you’re still alive.”

This story tells us that different destinies make different personalities. We must understand that undergoing suffering and hardship helps eliminate our negative karma. A person who can accept reality is one who knows how to change reality. We as Buddhist practitioners only suffer temporarily, and non-practitioners will suffer continuously.

Bear in mind that what we suffer now eliminates our karma!

Inspirational Short Stories: Adversity Makes You Stronger