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There’s a parable the Buddha once told of a thirsty man in a desert. Suppose, he said, this man came upon a footprint of an animal in which some rainwater had gathered several days before. What would he do? Obviously, he would get down on all fours and very carefully slurp up the water into his mouth, taking care not to let the sides of the footprint cave in or sand muddy the water. In the same way, the Buddha said, we are thirsty for other people’s goodness, though it may be as scarce as rainwater in a desert. So we need to take the same kind of care trying to find it as the man did with the footprint. We’re parched enough to put aside our sense of being superior and get down on our knees.

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