I smile to the star that still shines in the sky,
To the sun that slowly guides us out of the night,
To the day that begins,
To the enchanting bird,
I smile to the world and the world smiles to me.
I smile to the child that crosses my way,
I remember also all those who are hungry.
Those who live in misery all over the planet,
Who have to face the war, who lost their mother.
If sometime my smile is moistened by tears,
When I see the great pain that spreads over the world,
I shall still be smiling with tears in my eyes,
Smiling to life. Smiling to death.
And the day will come when it is bitterly cold,
When even my footsteps will not leave any mark,
The never-ending current of life energy
Will carry me along, and I will not look back.
The fear will no longer block my way.
My heart finally opens very wide.
Then I will become the smile of the earth,
Of the flower, of the sun, of the wind and the rain.
And one day, perhaps, in a very small child,
I will open my eyes to the wonders of life.
And with a little more loving, and a little more smiling
I will continue this wonderful way.
- Sister Chan Khong, Plum Village, France
Do you want to be a positive influence in the world?
First, attend to your own life. Ground yourself in the single principle so your behavior is wholesome and effective. If you do that, you will earn respect and be a powerful influence.
Your behavior influences others through a ripple effect. A ripple effect works because everyone influences everyone else. Powerful people are powerful influences.
If your life works, you influence your family.
If your family works, your family influences the community.
If your community works, your community influences the nation.
If your nation works, your nation influences the world.
If your world works, the ripple effect spreads throughout the cosmos.
Remember your influence begins with you and ripples outward. So be sure your influence is both potent and wholesome.
How do I know this works?
All growth spreads outward from a fertile and potent nucleus.
You are a nucleus.
To know how other people behave takes intelligence,
but to know myself takes wisdom.
To manage other people's lives takes strength, but
to manage my own life takes true power.
Perhaps if I am content with what I have, I can live simply and enjoy both prosperity and free time.
If my goals are clear, I can achieve them without fuss.
If I am at peace with myself, I will not spend my life force in conflicts.
If I have learned to let go, I do not need to fear dying.
- Heider, 1985, adapted