A Zen story: “
A hermit, who lived in the forest close to a village, was one day confronted by an angry crowd of villagers, who accused him of having made a young girl pregnant.
“Is that so?” was all he said.
He took the young girl in and looked after her. After some time had passed the young girl went back to the village and confessed to her parents that she had lied; the son of their neighbour, whom she loved, was the father.
The villagers went back to the hermit, apologized profusely, telling him the story.
All he said was: “Is that so?”
~~ O ~~
Like the monk in the story our strongest habitual responses are often anger or the other side of the same coin – depression. This is reflected in the detailed teaching from the Desert Tradition about the ‘Demon of Anger’. The Desert hermits considered that one way of dealing with the automatic angry response to the insults of others was the virtue of humility.