Thursday, August 16, 2007


The need to act today for the benefit of tomorrow is not a hard concept to grasp. Still, the imperative continues to elude a great number of us.

Many, many people write about it; argue the potential consequences; implore us to act. Why isn’t the message hitting home? Perhaps the approach is missing the mark. Maybe we’re looking at the problem the wrong way.

I recently came upon this quote from Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, poet, scholar, promoter of inter-faith dialogue, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, while at I've read several of Thay's books and have a great respect for him.

With All Our Heart
By Thich Nhat Hanh, "Our Appointment with Life"

When we throw a banana peel into the garbage, if we are mindful, we know that the peel will become compost and be reborn as a tomato or a lettuce salad in just a few months. But when we throw a plastic bag into the garbage, thanks to our awareness, we know that a plastic bag will not become a tomato or a salad very quickly. Some kinds of garbage need four or five hundred years to decompose. Nuclear waste needs a quarter of a million years before it stops being harmful and returns to the soil. Living in the present moment in an awakened way, looking after the present moment with all our heart, we will not do things which destroy the future. That is the most concrete way to do what is constructive for the future. 

Being truly mindful of the present moment. Clarity. Deep understanding. How many of us are there? How many of us are truly awake?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work! Your message(s) will take hold.