Rinpoche Palden Gyatso was a Tibetan Buddhist monk.
BTW, in Tibetan Buddhism, “Rinpoche” is a title of honor. It means an incarnate lama or a highly respected religious teacher.
Anyhoo, Rinpoche Palden Gyatso was arrested for protesting during the Chinese invasion of Tibet. He spent 33 years in Chinese prisons and labor camps where he was tortured physically and mentally day and night.
He holds the record for serving the longest term of any Tibetan political prisoner.
Three decades and three years.
And during that entire time, the torture never stopped.
After Gyatso was liberated, he traveled incognito to India. That’s when the Dalai Lama arranged a special meeting with him.
The first question the Dalai Lama asked was this:
“What was the worst thing you experienced while in prison?”
Gyatso thought about it for a while. Then he answered…
“The worst thing was that I almost lost my love and compassion towards my brothers and sisters from China.”
If that answer didn’t give you pause… we’re gonna take one right now…
Let’s grasp the impact of that statement for just a minute.
Yes, we’re supposed to have love and compassion for everybody. And that’s pretty easy to do when people are lovable.
I find it gets a lot more difficult when people are not lovable.
But… when people physically and mentally torture you nonstop for more than three frickin’ decades? That sounds almost impossible to me.
Yet… the Rinpoche still had compassion and love even for his own torturers.
And his biggest worry during his incarceration was that he might lose his compassion for his Chinese brothers and sisters.
I am utterly… completely… absolutely flabbergasted by this. In fact, when I first read this story, his answer to the Dalai Lama took my breath away… literally.
This got yours truly to thinkin’…
If this guy can have love and compassion for people who tortured him for 33 years, surely you and I can have love and compassion for our prospects and customers.
Because I’ve seen that produce darn near miracles. (No exaggeration.)
Listen, I know you expect me to just write about business and marketing stuff… but I wanted to do something a little different today.
And I’m confident that you’ll find your own lesson in it.
All the best,