One day some people came to the master and asked ‘How can you be happy in a world of such impermanence? The master held up a glass and said ’Someone gave me this glass, and I really like this glass. It holds my water admirably and it glistens in the sunlight. I touch it and it rings! One day the wind may blow it off the shelf, or my elbow may knock it from the table. And I say, ‘Of course.’ When I understand that the glass is already broken, every moment with it is precious.
Life is always in a constant state of change. Everything that has a beginning and has an end. Life, relations, things will all wear out and crumble one day. A glass is created and will eventually break.
There is peace in this teaching. When we expect something to break, we’re not surprised or disappointed when it does. Instead of becoming immobilized with emotion when something is destroyed, we’ll feel grateful for the time we have had with it. Remembering this the next time we are upset or irritated will help us soothe our inner turmoil.
In the words of Leo Babauta:
What causes anger, stress is that things don’t go the way we expect them to. This time, expect that things will go wrong. And accept it. Expect your partner to be less than perfect, expect your friends to let you down, expect plans to go awry, expect people to be rude, expect colleagues to not do their share, expect the glass to break. And accept it.”
Didn’t they say, acceptance is the first step to conquer misfortune? When these inevitable facts happen, you’ll not get upset, you’ll smile and think “I expected that to happen”. And, you’ll have peace of mind.