In cultivating the Way, sometimes you may get lost, and sometimes you don't know how to cultivate, like standing still in the crossroad without knowing which way to go. At such a time, you need to have wisdom and Samadhi power, and to hold the precepts. In dealing with people, you may be especially good to some people, but sometimes they treat your kindness with dislike. The better you are to them, the worse they treat you. When you encounter this situation, you must break your attachment. What attachment? Your attachment to being good to people! When the better you treat people the worse they treat you, they are your reverse good advisors. They are helping you to learn to take it easy when the situation gets rough. This is based on my own experience in cultivation. For every step of the way, I have encountered such abuse as my challenge. Abuse and challenges are there just to see whether you will go forward or retreat. If you really understand, you will be vigorous in cultivation under both favourable and adverse conditions. There is a saying:
If your ideas aren't working, look within yourself.
If you are kind to people and they don't reciprocate, take a look at your kindness.
If you give people advice and they don't follow them, take a look at your advice.
If you pay respect to people and they don't accept it, take a look at your manner.
Perhaps you are kind to others, but they are not willing to get close to you. In that case, retrospect to see if your kindness is really adequate. If it is, eventually you will influence the other person to turn towards the good. If people don't follow your instructions, retrospect to think, 'Could I be laying power trips on people?' If you nod or do a half-bow when you see people, but they act as if they didn't even see you. Once again, retrospect to think, 'Am I sincerely respectful towards them?'
If you can always retrospect what you do, you are not too far away from the path. You are on your way. This is very easy to talk about, but very difficult to do!