His Holiness the 17th Karmapa: "Mud & Gold", a Heart Advice given at Bodhicharya, Berlin, Germany, 6th September 2015:
"This seems to be a good occasion to insert an example, to illustrate what I want to say, and I want to take it from an old story. The old story says: 'Once upon a time', you know…
It is about a dialogue between Gold and Mud. The Gold speaks to Mud and says: “look at me, how shiny and nice I’m looking, sparkling and immaculate. And you, what’s your value, after all? You look so dirty, so muddy, you’re stinky, filthy, and, at all times, discusting. What do you have to say?”
The Mud says: “Well, maybe it's not so bad after all. You know, out of myself, lotus flowers are growing. And you, have you ever born a lotus flower? And also a lot of vegetables are growing nicely, right out of myself. A lot of mushrooms and life is nurtured, and I gain strength just out of myself. What do you have to say?”
And as the story reports, Gold didn’t know how to anser to that.
Now, what I learnt from this example is that, and what I want to show with that example is that, rather than turning ourselves into something very special or extraordinary, it is much more important, that, by ourselves, or through ourselves, or initiated by ourselves, something more useful or helpful is created in this world, that we contribute to the wellness of other sentient beings, we contribute to their... to benefit for others, initiated by ourselves and through our service, or if you want to say, by just being more useful for others. So this is what is really much more needed. That is the most important thing. Thank you so much."
~ His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje.