I was having tea with Master Han in his office when the mail arrived bringing a letter that the teacher’s family sent him from Korea.

Knowing that he had eagerly awaited that letter, I paused in our conversation, waiting for him to open the envelope and rush to read its contents. Instead, master Han put the letter aside, turned to me, and continued the conversation.

The next day I told him about his great self-control and I told him that I would have read the letter instantly.

“I did what I would have done if I had been alone,” he replied. I put the letter aside until I had overcome the rush. Then when I put my hand on it, I opened it like it was something precious.

For a few moments, I was intrigued by his comment. Knowing that he intended for this to be a lesson for me. Finally, I declared that I did not understand what so much patience led to.

“It leads to this,” he replied. Those who are patient in the trivial things of life and know how to control themselves will one day have the same mastery over the great and important things.