Glimpses : Indifference as love

Hazrat Inayat Khan told the following story, from his youth in India.

Love can take many forms, even that of indifference.

I remember I went once, for a relative, to the house of a physician, an Indian physician who had a very ancient method of writing his prescriptions. Each took him nearly ten minutes. I was shown into a small room where fifteen to twenty people were already waiting, and I sat down among them. He continued to write prescriptions for all who came; and when he had finished with those who were before me, he began to write prescriptions for those who had come after me.

I had thought that the physician, as a friend of the family, would have seen me first, but he went on until he had seen everyone, and I was the last. Finally he said to me, “Now tell me what you want.”

I told him, and he wrote out the prescription without haste. When I was leaving he said, “I hope you understand that I did not want to see you while all the other patients were still there. I wanted to see you at leisure.”

He was doing me a favour, and though he tried my patience, it was still a majestic sort of favour. It gave me a good example of love in the form of indifference.

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