Conversations With My Guru

Chapter 5: The Rude Lady

Chapter 5: The Rude Lady

The lady was crying. 

Rinpoche had just spoken to her and the three of us stood there, somewhat awkward. 

Rinpoche said, “You three better talk to her”. 

We looked at each other, a bit lost. We invited her into a room, turned on the air conditioning and sat as she recounted her story. “That man (Rinpoche) was so rude. I came to ask for advice because my friend asked me to come and he told me the way I talk is the main problem – that I am rude.”

We tried to placate her, asked some questions about her as an icebreaker and tried to keep the conversation going. As we were talking, I recall at one point she said, “You see, the three of you are so nice and kind, not like that man “. 

As we were talking, she suddenly raised her voice and snapped at us. “Can you please turn down the aircon? It’s so cold you know”.  Silence. One of us turned the aircon temperature up. We looked at one another knowingly and realised Rinpoche was right. Her problem was her way of speaking; she could suddenly come across as rude. 

As the conversation progressed, we noticed that there were several times when she was aggressive and quite rude. BUT – none of us dared or cared enough to tell her directly that Rinpoche was right. We sort of hinted at it and we tried to tell her “nicely”. (I mean we were supposed to be nice – right?) 

As I think back to that day, I wondered about what it means to be “nice”. How many people in our lives will tell us things we really do need to hear so we can change? For these things may be the root of our problems. 

So when Rinpoche says to you that you are slow, egotistical, too money minded - is that being rude and “not nice”? Well, it hurts for sure, but when it’s valid - if we ask others around us and if most agree that we are just what Rinpoche has pointed out, but they have never said it to your face - then the question is, who is really being nice ? 



24 Oct 2021