Glimpses: Two examples of courtesy

Hazrat Inayat Khan recounted the following anecdotes:

Once in India I was staying near a Hindu temple, and there were two porters who took care of that temple.  They were Afghans, proud and rough, and rigid in their behaviour, yet in their expression there was honesty and goodness.

Often I passed that way, and every time they ignored my entering and leaving, lest they should have the trouble of observing the conventional politeness.

One day one of them came to me with a message from his master.  I got up from my seat and received him most cordially. And from that day, every time I passed I was well received, and with smiles and a very cordial welcome, and they ignored me no more.

This happened because education was given to him without hurting his feelings; and as that gave him pleasure, he thought he would return that politeness.

* * *

Once, when travelling, I met a man of very dense evolution, a soldier who always lived in military surroundings and who had very fixed ideas of his own. And when we were talking together and it appeared that we thought differently about something, I happened to say, in order to preserve harmony, “Well, we are brothers!”

He looked at me with great anger, and said, “Brothers!  How dare you say such a thing!”

I said, “I forgot. I am your servant, Sir.”

He was very pleased.  I could have argued, but this would have created disharmony without reason. The foolishness of that man blazed up just like fire; I put water on it and extinguished it.  I did not diminish myself, for we are all servants of one another; and it pleased and satisfied him.


One Reply to “Glimpses: Two examples of courtesy”

  1. Takbir

    To be humble, to smile and greet others, to say please or excuse me, good morning, to stop your car and let a pedestrian pass, or to give another driver the way, even though he is trying to take it rudely (especially in Colombia), so many examples in daily life, where we can teach with kindness or like the last example of the Murshid to put water into a foolish person by being humble. Not always easy, but it really makes a difference.


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