According to the Ekottarikagama (Gradual Discourses of the Buddha), “A child’s strength is in its tears, a woman’s strength is in her charm, a king’s strength is in his power and influence, an arhat’s strength is in his paucity of desire, a monastic’s strength is in patience, and a bodhisattva’s strength is in compassion.” Patience is strong, stable, and tempering. It takes a skilled hand to turn out a jade bracelet, and only a patient artist can produce a lasting work of art. Only when plum blossoms are cleansed by frost and snow will they be fragrant.
If a person does not experience and patiently bear with life’s difficulties, they will never truly be numbered among the outstanding. Mencius said, “That is why when heaven is going to place a great responsibility on a man, it will test his resolve, exhaust his body, make him suffer from hunger and hardship, and frustrate his efforts. In this way his patience and endurance are developed, and his weaknesses overcome.” Clearly, if a person is to be successful, he must endure the unendurable and do the