The Second Arrow
There is an insightful story of Buddha’s teaching in the book “Ichigo Ichie” by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles.
“If a person is walking through the forest and is shot by an arrow, is it painful?”, asked Buddha.
“Of course,” answered his follower.
“And if he is then shot by a second arrow, is it even more painful?” continued Buddha.
“Of course, much more than the first.”
The first arrow represents the bad things that happen to us, which we cannot avoid,” the Buddha concluded. “Those things over which we have no control. But we are the ones who shoot the second arrow, inflicting unnecessary damage on ourselves.”
Regulation, Change, and Competition are examples of the first arrow.
We have been hit by so many first arrows over the last 12 years. Our reaction of overthinking, resistance and worrying causes more pain. This is our Second Arrow.
First Arrows are a part of our life as well as our industry/profession and there might be many first arrows waiting for us. There is no escaping these first ones but what we can definitely avoid are the lethal second arrows.
It helps to remember Buddha’s powerful saying, “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”
One way to remove or avoid the second arrow is to simply DO the Next and Most Necessary Thing. Read Tuesday’s post in case you missed it.
What about your Second Arrow? Do you have any?
By the way, you can’t remove any arrow that you pretend isn’t there.