Facing negativity from others?

A story to remember when faced with negativity.

Buddha was well known for his ability to respond to evil with good. There was a man who knew about his reputation and he traveled miles and miles and miles to test Buddha. When he arrived and stood before Buddha, he verbally abused him constantly, he insulted him, he challenged him, he did everything he could to offend Buddha. Buddha was unmoved, he simply turned to the man and said, “May I ask you a question?” The man responded with “Well, what?” Buddha said, “If someone offers you a gift and you decline to accept it to whom then does it belong?” The man said, “Then it belongs to the person who offered it” Buddha smiled, “That is correct. So if I decline to accept your abuse does it not then still belong to you?” The man was speechless and walked away.

We can choose to receive the gifts of negativity or not. On the other hand when we are the gift givers they may not even be receiving them and so we get stuck with them.