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I think the most important thing in helping others grow is having a heart that is willing to wait for them. It’s not such a simple thing to correct one’s faults and reform bad habits. Even when a boss at a company gives many warnings to employees or cautions them to never repeat a certain kind of mistake, they aren’t always able to change their ways all at once.

We often see mothers reprimanding their children, chiding them by saying things like, “You told me you understood, didn’t you?” or “If I keep telling you, will you get it?”

But there is all the difference in the world between understanding something with your head and actually being able to do it.

For instance, consider something as simple as moving the things from a shelf on your right to one on your left. It’s not so easy to rid oneself of that long-accustomed habit of reaching to the right. It’s something that changes little by little as we blunder repeatedly.

Unless we watch over people’s progress with the magnanimity and kindness to wait for them, they will never grow. Even if you yourself have the look of the enlightened, I’d like you to recall how many people watched over and waited for you until you got that way.

Nikkyo Niwano

Kaisozuikan, Kosei Publishing. pp.218-19

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