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Any parent would be totally shaken if their child said to them “Mom, I hope you drop dead!” However, this is really a distressed child’s cry for help from their parents. Our children’s words and hearts don’t always match.

When you blow up over words like “I didn’t ask to be born!”, you are still a rookie parent. The love of a parent is about having the composure to consider what your child is feeling when they hurl such words at you. If you don’t have that leeway, you will get stuck on the harshness of their words, and end up losing your temper and throwing up your hands in despair. “Why did something like that come out of our child’s mouth?” you’ll ask yourself.

The “true regard” of the Bodhisattva Regarder of the Sounds of the World is what can see into the deepest depths of your child’s heart.

It’s common to catch sight of the figure of a salaryman, complaining about his company and belittling his superiors while having a drink on the way home from work. This may also be a cry for help. Regarder of the Sounds of the World can come to the aid of everyone because the Bodhisattva fully possesses the ability to discern the actual wishes of people like this from their cries for help. We too, should want to cultivate this ability.

Nikkyo Niwano

From Kaisozuikan 9 (Kosei Publishing Co. 1997), pp 172-73

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