The Gift of Insults


Originally posted December 16, 2014 by Trey Warme on LinkedIn

The Gift of Insults | zen story | I AM TECHNOLOGY blog by Trey Warme


We have all likely had personal as well as professional interactions with others who feel like sandpaper to our soul. We all have different learned approaches to dealing with abusive remarks and actions. Below is an interesting zen story on one perspective of response.

There once lived a great warrior. Though quite old, he still was able to defeat any challenger. His reputation extended far and wide throughout the land and many students gathered to study under him.

One day an infamous young warrior arrived at the village. He was determined to be the first man to defeat the great master. Along with his strength, he had an uncanny ability to spot and exploit any weakness in an opponent. He would wait for his opponent to make the first move, thus revealing a weakness, and then would strike with merciless force and lightning speed. No one had ever lasted with him in a match beyond the first move.

Much against the advice of his concerned students, the old master gladly accepted the young warrior’s challenge. As the two squared off for battle, the young warrior began to hurl insults at the old master. He threw dirt and spit in his face. For hours he verbally assaulted him with every curse and insult known to mankind. But the old warrior merely stood there motionless and calm. Finally, the young warrior exhausted himself. Knowing he was defeated, he left feeling shamed.

Somewhat disappointed that he did not fight the insolent youth, the students gathered around the old master and questioned him. “How could you endure such an indignity? How did you drive him away?”

“If someone comes to give you a gift and you do not receive it,” the master replied, “to whom does the gift belong?”

How do you deal with disrespectful remarks or actions? Please share in the comments below to help others and, who knows, maybe help you too. Thank you!

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Trey Warme is a leading expert information systems infrastructure engineer and a developing business leader. He is currently actively seeking new opportunities in technical sales engineering with information systems management and security services providers to complement his advanced systems engineering skills. Trey also provides professional information technology consulting services that harness the practical leadership abilities of an over 15-year cumulative immersion in progressively accountable direction of information technology infrastructure design and IT systems management. Contact Trey at or call him directly @ 858-776-4172.



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