A rabbi and a Catholic priest were fishing in separate boats some distance apart. The priest got a bite and was so nervous that he fell out of the boat. He sank twice, and as he was coming up the second time the rabbi rowed over and called out, “Father, can I have your boat if you don’t come up again?”
We may not be so direct, but this is how we are: just waiting…how can we possess more? just waiting…how can our territory become a little bigger? Even if others suffer for it, even if they have to die for it, we are ready to sacrifice the whole world. For what? – for things which you will not be able to carry to the other shore. Death will come and shatter all your arrangements.
Buddha said: Before death takes things away from you, share them. At least there will remain some gratitude in people’s hearts for you, at least they will remember you, death will not be able to efface your memory completely. And by sharing you will become open. And by sharing you will become more trusting – and trust becomes the boat to the other shore. Trust people, because people are nothing but a manifestation of the universe, a manifestation of the universal soul. When you share with somebody, in fact you are sharing with God – because everybody is a manifestation of God. When you water a tree and the tree feels happy, and the leaves seem to be delighted, and the tree starts swaying and dancing in the breeze, it is God you have watered. God was thirsty in the tree; you have watered, and God is happy.
Whatsoever you do to people, to trees, to animals, you are doing to existence. And of course existence repays a thousandfold. When you are totally alone and there is nobody with you, only existence all around, it will repay you. Buddha says: This is the first parmita.
Oscar Muscovitz and Sidney Margolis had a profitable little business going, importing artificial flowers for the ladies’ dress trade. Mainly, it was profitable due to their seldom, if ever, paying Uncle Sam taxes. But to their loft came, as it must to all men, the agents of the Internal Revenue Service. Finding Oscar in charge, as Sidney was on a buying trip, the first agent tried to explain the nature of the visit.
“Mr Oscar, you people are doing business and failing to report to the government.”
Oscar turned purple: “Report? What report? What is to report?” he demanded.
“Well,” the agent replied, “first of all, we would like to know about your dependents, that is, your family exemptions.”
Oscar proceeded to tell them all about Harriet, his wife, dependent number one, and all the trouble and aggravations she had been giving him lately; then he got to his son and described in great detail how Freddie had gotten this girl in trouble, and the ensuing problems from that scene; dependent number three, his daughter Marjorie, a good girl, but no beauty, and how much she was costing.