There are many timeless stories of wisdom that make us reflect, go deeper and may be a catalyst for internal change. I’d like to share one here, entitled ‘The Empty Boat’, which Dan Millman describes as “… if taken to heart, offers a key to emotional calm, a means to short-circuit the mind’s near constant domination” [1].

A man rowed a small boat upstream, heading toward home, when he felt another small boat heading downstream, collide with his boat. Since he had the right of way, he felt angry. Turning, he yelled at the other boatman “Watch where you’re going! Be more careful!”.
The other man apologised, and passed by without further incident. But an hour later, as the man continued upstream, he felt another boat collide with his. Furious, he turned to yell at the reckless person. His anger vanished when he saw that the boat was empty – it must have come loose from its moorings. Calmly, he pushed it aside and continued on his journey.
He never lost his temper again, because from then on, he treated everyone like an empty boat.


[1] D. Millman, No Ordinary Moments: A Peaceful Warrior’s Guide to Daily Life. H J Kramer and New World Library, 1992.