Buddha was transmitting his teachings to a group of disciples when a man came up and insulted him, with the intent of attacking him. Under the gaze of everyone present, Buddha reacted with utmost tranquility, remaining totally still and silent.
When the man left, one of his disciples, enraged by such behavior, asked Buddha why he had let that stranger abuse him in such a way.
Buddha answered serenely: “If I give you a horse as a gift, but you don’t accept it, whose horse is it?” The student, after a moment’s hesitation, answered: “If I don’t accept it, it would continue being yours.”
Buddha nodded and explained that, although some people may decide to waste their time giving us insults, we can choose whether we want to accept them or not, just as we would with any other gift. “If you take it, you’re accepting it. And if not, he who insults you is simply left with an insult in their hands.”
We can’t blame the person that hurts us, because it is our decision to accept their words instead of leaving them on the very lips they came out of.