As the elephant was crossing the bridge, he heard a voice say, ‘Son, Son!’ The elephant looked around him, but he was all alone. ‘Son, son!’ the voice continued. When the elephant reached the other side of the river, he saw a small ant perched on his trunk. ‘Son!’ the ant cried. ‘Our weight was so great, so immense, that the bridge almost collapsed beneath us, didn’t it?’
Of course, the elephant knew that the ant’s weight had been completely irrelevant to whether the bridge collapsed. And, of course, he knew that the tiny ant was not his mother.
However, what good would it have done for the elephant to engage in a battle of egos with the ant? Instead, the wise, calm elephant simply said, ‘You are right, Mother, our weight almost broke the bridge.’
The elephant retained his serenity, peace and joy. The ant, for what it is worth, was allowed to continue believing in its own greatness. But how many of us could be like the elephant? Aren’t we always trying to prove ourselves to others? Aren’t we always ready to shoot down anyone who trespasses on our ego?
We must emulate the grace, humility and serenity of the elephant, who knew that only harm would come from the fight. We must make ‘no reaction‘ the sutra, the mantra of our life. Then we will know real peace.