Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer?

It is keeping peace and good relations between people,

as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind.

- Prophet Mohammed


Day 17

Right now my spectacularly intelligent wife is studying away her Saturday in a Spanish class. I'm impressed by the forward-thinking prerogative she so often lives by. One day, I hope that trait will be somehow passed onto me, but so far I seem to be pretty good at living for the moment. It's raining really hard today and just a few moments ago I got home from bringing the wife to class which means that I am in fact buck naked having just removed my soaked clothes from my drenched body. They're lying in a pile next to the laundry room being thoroughly inspected by my dog for interesting odors. I doubt he'll find anything.

Since we woke up late, we didn't get a chance to eat so, like usual, it could have been an eighteen hour no-food marathon. Luckily, I have started to game this system a little. During the week, my students offer me a lot of stuff. Sometimes it's fruit smoothies and other times it's Korean breads filled with bean paste. It's better than it sounds. Well, today, I remembered that one of my first grade students had offered me a treat last week that I had forgotten all about.

Chocolate-covered sunflower seeds might not sound all that appealing, but since I played baseball as a kid, I was used to the innards and chocolate is fine with me. Unfortunately, my stomach has become pretty sensitive this month and loading it with junk like 해바라기 초코볼 (Sunflower Chocolate Balls) isn't going to do much more than gratify my taste buds and stimulate my bowels. Neither of those really get me going, so I think I'll just snack on a few while I'm writing about the miniature doghouse that I created for myself by being a selfish husband. 

Learning selflessness is hard for anyone. I picked up some good tips from Buddha that helped me visualize how my stubbornness or anger can affect those around me.  Jains combine selflessness with their very broad understanding of Ahimsa (non-violence) and is pretty clear on the nature these tendancies and how easy it is to get sucked into them.
A man is seated on top of a tree in the midst of a burning forest.  He sees all living beings perish.  But he doesn't realize that the same fate is soon to overtake him also. That man is fool.
I know what I need to do, but I still choose to ignore it. Today, I ignored that fact, acted foolish and got the wife a little peeved. I usually try to drive her to class whenever possible and even though the rain was pounding down on Seoul, I offered to give her a ride to her class. As you may remember, we only have one motor-scooter and because of safety issues stemming from rain-driving, we only have one full set of rain gear. Being the southern gentlemen that I so proudly am, I gave her the entire suit and happily offered her the protection of my umbrella as I escorted her to the scooter. 

Sounds nice, right? Well, once we got in the scooter and started riding to her class, the skies really opened up and doused the city. After a mere ten seconds, I was totally soaked. As we made our way there, I started becoming more and more irritated by the entire situation. I started running through all the other ways that she could have gotten there. Without realizing it, I was subtly shaking my head and making louder-than-usual scoffing sounds. When we pulled up to her school, she got off the bike and turned to me.
"Offering to do something for others and then acting like its an inconvenience is hypocritical and just plain mean-spirited. You should meditate on that, honey."
She didn't shout, nor did she say anything rude. She simply stated the fact that I already knew but chose to ignore. It's easy to be a fool. 

Time to meditate.