By Daniel Scharpenburg
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the single candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” -the Buddha
I’ve been thinking a lot about what we’re trying to do on the Buddhist path.
To me it’s all about doing what we can to be more aware and to also make the world a better place. We talk about having boundless compassion and trying to help others, but I wonder sometimes what these things really mean.
The world has a lot of problems.
Sometimes it seems like people are more full of anger and hatred than ever before. I don’t think that’s the case, but I know it seems that way sometimes. Sometimes it seems like the world is going crazy and we are powerless to do anything, like we just have to watch the world burn.
In Buddhism we vow to save all beings.
This is not because we think we can realistically do that. It’s to set our intention. It’s to say that we’re going to help others—even when it’s really hard, even when we really don’t want to, or when we don’t think people deserve our help.
But what can we do in a world gone mad? How can we feel anything but discouraged?
I’ll tell you.
We are like candles, providing just a little light in a dark world. It seems like our light is very small, but it can make all the difference to someone else.
If we can live in compassion and with an open-heart in this world, then we are bringing just a little bit of positivity and harmony to the people around us. This is not in a way in which we’ll be celebrated as heroes. We won’t, ever (so don’t expect that) but just in a way that brings a little more harmony into the world.
We can let things get us down and lash out at the people around us. Or we can realize that now, more than ever, the world needs us to be openhearted and genuine.
Bring love into the small corner of the world that you’re in. That’s how things change.
Editor: Dana Gornall
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