The night before the annual debate exam, I was seated at my desk trying to complete some unfinished homework when Venerable Faith walked by to remind me to get to bed.
“What do I do?” she muttered to herself.
“What’s wrong?” Curious, I wanted to know what was on her mind.
“During debate class today, I’d offered my point of view. But I soon realized that my debate partner couldn’t come up with anything to counter it. She became extremely nervous. So I wanted to help her come up with ways to refute what I’d already established.”
Her answer left me at a loss for words.
Not only did debate class cultivate in her the ability of critical analysis, it also helped her develop the altruistic nature of putting others before herself. She’s even willing to give up the seemingly undisputable standpoint she’d spent hours working on for the sake of others. By helping others develop broader perceptions, it’d only mean that she’d have to work harder on the debate field, yet it didn’t halter her determination at all.
Master Zhen-Ru once said that debate isn’t about winning, nor is it about right or wrong. Rather, it’s about helping one another to better understand the teachings we’ve learnt.
As I lay in bed later that night, Venerable Faith’s words resounded clearly in my mind. Deeply touched and astounded by her small act of kindness, I saw the colours of a true practitioner.