Once a young and very beautiful girl came to the gray-haired sage all in tears:
- What should I do? - through tears she complained. - I always try to treat people kindly, not offend anyone, I can help as much as I can. And although I am friendly and affectionate with everyone, I often accept grievances and bitter ridicule instead of gratitude and respect. And even frankly they are at enmity with me. I am not guilty of anything, and this is so unfair and insulting to tears. Advise me what to do.
The sage looked at the beauty and said with a smile:
- Strip naked and walk around the city in this form.
- You're out of your mind! - the beauty was indignant. “In this form, everyone will dishonor me, and God knows what will do with me.
Then the sage opened the door and put a mirror on the table.
- You see, - he answered, - you are afraid to appear in public, exposing your beautiful body. So why are you walking around the world with a naked soul? You have it as wide open as this door. All and sundry are included in your life. And if they see in your virtues as in a mirror the reflection of the ugliness of their vices, then they try to slander, humiliate, offend you. Not everyone has the courage to admit that someone is better than him. Not wanting to change, the wicked person is at enmity with the righteous.
- So what should I do? - asked the girl
“Come, I'll show you my garden, ” the elder suggested.
Leading the girl through the garden, the sage said:
- For many years I have been watering and caring for these beautiful flowers. But I have never noticed how the flower bud opens, although then I enjoy the beauty and aroma of each of them. So you, too, be like a flower: open your heart to people slowly, imperceptibly. Look who is worthy to be your friend and does good to you, like pouring water on a flower, and who picks off the petals and tramples with their feet.