Who shoots that arrow?

Update: 03/04/2022
This is not a mocking and satirical title. By saying it, we just want to express a real situation which is happening on a daily basis with young people (and probably even with some not too young people as well.

Who shoots that arrow?


Youth, as we all know it starts from adolescence to the time one gets married which could take place at the age of 15 years old to 30 years old. Yesterday and the day before yesterday, we had 2 young people who were gone and left great shock, regret, and anguish for all of us. Master Minh Niem once shared in one of his lectures at Hue Nghiem Luat Institute that “Top psychologists in the US and the world think that depression is going to be the world’s new chronic disease. This statement turns out to be a reality so fast (even so “deadly”): one grade 8 student in Bac Ninh province left a suicide note for her family. The next day, on the occasion of “International Tell a Lie Day”, one of the worst lie in the history happened in Ho Noi capital: an Amsterdam schoolboy committed suicide by jumping off from the 28th floor at a resident apartment. The casualties in these two cases suffered a great deal of pressure from work and life.

What is the pressure at school? Life is an unsolvable deadlock problem with these young adults? To be honest, it is hard to give a clear and definitive answer. Do you still remember a young boy named Do Nhat Nam who used to be at the front page of the news due to his exceptional ability in foreign language at the age of 8? Another case at Math in Vietnam is a golden boy who is now a professor Le Ba Khanh Trinh, 40 years ago won a special prize in the International Math Competition 40 years ago. However, not everyone shows their talents at a young age, there were some famous people who skipped school, had fun playing and were not outstanding students at school like Thomas Edison or Albert Einstein.

What do these examples show us? Whether having an innate talent or not is unique and individual, sometimes, effort is limited due to the developmental stage – at the age when one loves eating and sleeping. The expectation from family and society is not wrong if it does not lead to the above tragic jumping and suiciding incidents of innocent and young students. However, on the contrary, there are many older boys and girls who spoil themselves and trade their future with meaningless self-indulgent activities. It is absolutely their own fault. Yet, these older boys and girls have never found “jumping”. 

Ultimately, everyone agrees that life is not completely a pink romantic colour as told in childhood fairy tales. Reality is often the naked and lifeless truth causing one’s in-spine chilling. From the intelligent to the deceitful and foolish, each individual has some sort of up and down experience as well as the extreme stress in their lifetime. When we feel we have lived long enough in this life and find no motivation to keep going, as simple as it is, we cancel this virtualization game by having a faraway trip. That is all!

Dear all! Please stop criticising and digging deep into who is at fault. We all carry with us past and future mistakes. Therefore, what we need to do now is to name our own mistakes, not others’. Giving less harsh criticism and assisting one’s improvement with reasonable and suitable methods. Human beings and I have a mutual and close-knit relationship, however, deep down we are quite different and unique. No one is the same. For that reason, one thing is suitable for this person does not mean it is appropriate with another one despite having the same problem. This is absolutely normal. How could we be so sure it is the same problem anyway? Be aware of our careless judgement, instead, using critical reflection to realize the intrinsic differences in each of us.

The Buddha taught us to look for answers to heal and release one from despair. When one is shot, the first thing needed to be done is to pull the arrow out and quickly treat the wound. Why would one ask for the shooter and the information of the arrow? Yet, we do! “who is right and who is wrong?” and countless consequences that these questions lead to. We let the wound worsen without treatment which would be deadly owing to meaningless and unwise questions. Those who want to understand it further, please refer directly to Cūla Mālunkyā bible, Sutta 63 of Central Sutta (Majjhima Nikāya)

The writer himself, who is also young and inexperienced in life, takes all courage to discuss philosophy of life. Lastly, if there is any misunderstanding, with the treasure of human knowledge, I am looking forward to receiving comments and reminders from everyone to improve myself. 

Regardless of rocky life’s path

Awakening footsteps pass gently. 

                                                                                         Master Thich Chan Tinh



Tam Cung 

Translated into English by Thai Nhuoc Don

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