A Lesson from a Coin

Once there fell into my hands a plugged quarter. My first thought was to pass it on, as it had come to me unnoticed, and I felt entitled to receive as much in turn. My sober second thought was to do nothing of the kind. I could see that plugged quarter wending its way from hand to hand for years and years to come, troubling and worrying everybody as to how they might pass it; and I could see that in a few years it might have disturbed the peace of over ten thousand people. And I thought what a vast amount of trouble I might head off by a little self-sacrifice. So I just took a hammer and mashed that quarter so flat it could never be passed again. To this day there has not been another bad coin passed on me.

This lesson is especially applicable to petty discords, gossip, and unpleasant things we hear about others. Let us deny ourselves the foolish satisfaction of voicing them again, but just crush them flat every time they come to us. It will save a great deal of trouble for other people, and this counterfeit intelligence will become less frequently passed on us. And instead of the false testimony concerning man and the universe, we shall be hearing the true evidence of spiritual harmony. Let us ever be weaning ourselves from the senseless clamor of mortal mind, and learning more and more of Life's sweeter meaning and vaster joys.

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Recites Buddhist Prayers
July 6, 1899

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