As humans, we should be like a suitcase. We should be able to pick ourselves up and put ourselves down as well. If we are carried all the time, we may become too heavy and tiring. On the other hand, if we are not taken up when needed we may find it inconvenient. Therefore, we should take up and let go in life as appropriate.
We often hear people reminding us to let go, to let go! When we cannot let go of fame and fortune, our life will be tied down by them. If we do not let go of the joy of being together and the sorrow of departing, we will struggle and suffer endlessly. When we cannot let go of money, social status, and love, we will forever be tangled in their mesh. If we do not let go of gossip, gains, losses, good, and evil, we will never gain peace.
It is good to be able to let go, but it is more difficult to pick up. If someone has let go of everything in life, what is left there? Therefore, it is important to pick up right views, right actions, right speech, right thoughts, compassion, morals, good connections, and diligence. Without taking these up, where does the meaning and value of life lie?
Buddhism teaches people to let go; however, after letting go, they should be able to take up something or someone else. In taking up, they should also be able to let go. The hardest things in life to let go are family, spouse, children, love, and money. We always carry the load and suffer for it. So it is really reasonable for Buddhism to advise us to let go sometimes.
People who care for their country and fellow citizens may not be able to let go of them. Similarly, people who are concerned about social harmony also will not be able to let it go. Those people with righteousness cannot let go of any violation of social justice and may become cynical and resentful. However, if they do let go of everything, they will no longer be the heroes and sages carrying the torch for social causes that benefit humanity. Therefore, there must be a value system for letting go and picking up. We let go and pick up only after careful consideration weighing priorities because letting go and taking on are both sides of the coin and are just as important.
Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva let go of worldly fame and fortune and took up teaching the Dharma to the beings in hell in the effort to liberate them. Avalokitesvera Bodhisattva let go of the position to attain Buddhahood in the Western Pure Land and took up the challenge to relieve the suffering of sentient beings in the Saha world. In the Buddhist sutras, much has been written in praise of practitioners' letting go and even more about their taking up the Bodhisattva path.
The anger, jealousy, sorrow, and suffering in human hearts are too
heavy to carry. We should let them go. However, responsibility, social
justice, and compassionate vows should be taken up. Although what we
let go or take up may not be good, we only need to keep in mind that
we should be like a suitcase. When we need to take up things, we do
so, and when we should let go, we let go.