“Because people like you, God also likes you.”
Anecdotes of Oyasama, no. 87, “Because People Like You”
One day, a grandmother spreads beans on a square floor cushion and says to her grandson: “Why don’t you pinch and lift the center of the cushion?” When the boy does as she says, all the beans roll off the cushion.
“This time,” says the grandmother after putting the beans back on the cushion, “why don’t you press down the center of the cushion?” When the boy does so, she says: “That’s it. Now what happened? The beans rolled toward the center of the cushion, its lowest point, didn’t they? People are like these beans, too. If we value ourselves too highly and become haughty, our friends will leave us, much as the beans rolled away from the center of the cushion when the center was lifted. In contrast, if our heart is humble and loving, people will naturally come toward us, even if we don’t try to draw anyone to ourselves, just as the beans rolled toward the lowest point of the cushion.”
No matter how much money we have and what position we hold, others will try to distance themselves from us if we are haughty and arrogant. Power cannot control others’ minds or hearts. Arrogance leads to loneliness.
On the other hand, there are people we want to talk to when we have a problem. They are the kind of people who are humble to everyone and good at listening. We all have experiences where all our problems seem to vanish the instant we are in someone’s presence. Others are drawn to such people, as if by a magnet. Oyasama encourages us to become such people.