This is part 34 of my series on Lojong: A Buddhist mind training technique
In this slogan we are asked to look at the commitments we make and ask ourselves if we are following through on them. When asked to take something on are we the ones who look side to side wondering who will take our place? Or do we happily accept, knowing that we have the skills required for the task? If we do take on a commitment do we end up passing the buck to someone else? Are we willing to step up- to put our money where our mouths are so to speak?
An ox is a much stronger animal that a cow; the implication here is that we are not all capable of carrying the same loads. Rather than feeling put upon that we need to carry more than another person or feel like we’re doing more than our share, we can celebrate the fact that we are capable. Fair does not necessarily mean equal, and we need to gain an understanding of what we and others around us are truly capable so that we can stop feeling as if we are owed something. To ask ourselves what we owe, rather than what we are owed, is to get more in touch with our strengths and weaknesses as well as the strengths and weaknesses of others.