“[O]nce in ancient China an abbot was eating . . .
with the monks in the meditation hall.
He discovered a snake head in his soup.
This was not snake soup;
Zen monasteries are vegetarian. . . .
a mistake is a mistake,
and a mistake that ends up in the abbot’s bowl
is a mistake compounded.
The abbot called the tenzo,
the head cook.
“Look!” He held up the snake’s head.
And the tenzo,
without saying a word,
snatched the snake’s head
and swallowed it.
He didn’t blame the farmer,
he didn’t blame the soup cook.
He didn’t make excuses.
He didn’t feel guilty or ashamed.
He ate the blame.
It was probably very nourishing.”
Tom Fazio, from In Pursuit of Weightlessness
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