When you don't have the chance to do something (Thich Nhat Hanh)
- "When you make another person smile, you do something to make another person feel relief, then suddenly you feel very happy. If you do not have a chance to do something to relieve someone else but you have the will to be able to relieve him or her, already that good will is making you happier."
From: The Discourse on Love
A Dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh on December 18, 1997 in Plum Village, France
Thanks Sharon for posting this in 2004.
Antony: I had been assuming that because I was unemployed I was left out of the real world where people have chances to relieve important suffering because they do things and keep busy. Thich Nhat Hanh's insight is a double-edged sword: was my social isolation an excuse for not training the mind? Do I really want to help people anyway since they can sometimes be very demanding? His insight reminds me that other people are not "out of sight, out of mind," and even with strangers I shouldn't wait for their physical presence before beginning to send them metta. In order to do this I'll have to go beyond rigid categories such as employed/unemployed and socially isolated/socially included and instead use my imagination and humor in awakening to what the Buddha was trying to get me to understand about how to find true happiness.
With metta / Antony.
This post is recorded in mp3 audio in our files section: