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Buddhadharma : Spring 2019
70 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY Q: How do we teach patience to our children? How should we react to anger in our children? A: It is very difficult to explain in words to a child the value of patience and the importance of it. What is crucial here is to set a good example for our children. If you yourself are always short- tempered and lose your temper even at the slightest provocation, and then you try to teach children, saying, “Oh, you must be patient, patience is important,” it won’t have any effect at all. As to how you should react or respond to anger in children, it is very difficult for me to say, but many of the general principles out- lined in the text that teach you how to develop patience would be applicable, even in those circumstances. Q: If there is no extreme form of patience that is a weakness, how can a bodhisattva take a strong counteraction? A: There may be a slight misunderstanding of what is meant by a bodhisattva. One should not have the impression that a bodhisattva is a very weak person. In fact, bodhisattvas can be seen as the most courageous beings. They are very determined and firm in their prin- ciples. Even conventionally, if people do not tolerate having their toes stepped on and do not tolerate being slighted, if they always take immediate action and stand firm, we consider them courageous and strong, to have strength of character. If that is the case, then bodhisattvas are beings who have made a pledge or developed the determination that they will combat the evils that exist in the minds of all sentient beings. In a way, that is a kind of arrogance, but it is, of course, based on sound reason. This type of courageous attitude is in some sense arrogant, but not in a negative way. If we read the aspirational prayers composed by the bodhisat- tvas, such as the “Dedication” chapter of Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, we find that bodhisattvas have many aspirations that in reality cannot be realized. Nonetheless, they have this kind of vision and aspiration. So I consider them heroes. I think they are very, very