By Nhat Quan
You often feel that you are lacking in this or that thing... but very rarely do you feel you are lacking in kindness. To be more precise, you don't care about benevolence because you feel you don't have enough time to let you do this or that. That's why you rarely, or never, regret your kindness just because it's an invisible emotion, but it's the most precious capital that every human being has.
Many of you think, appreciating kindness doesn't make it possible for you to do these and other things, because you have so many things that make you feel for a lifetime. But have you ever thought that no matter how busy you are with this or that, in the end, you won't bring anything with you in life?
So the problem is that you have to know how to live to be worthy of that time. You work as a means to subsist, you should also understand that the material values created always have their temporary limits, and obviously cannot be the end goal for you to aim for. Those material values can help you live a more comfortable life, but you will pay a heavy price if you depend solely on them. The true art of living is being aware of the precious value of life in every beautiful moment which is kindness.
Many people think that it is thanks to labor in industrial societies that you get what you are today, with modern motorcycles, air conditioners, and washing machines... and think that material achievement is of the greatest significance.
I don't completely deny it, but if I trade the preciousness of humanity in a lifetime to struggle in the factories to create those material comforts, I don't think it's worth it. As an informed person, you can accept a simple life for a chance to awaken your kindness, to live a happier and more meaningful life.
You work hard to forget all day and hour to earn money and material possessions, but if you only think about material possessions and forget about kindness, you may be willing to burn those material achievements for only a little while. Cherish every moment lived by yourself because you don't know when you will return to dust.
Humans are born naked and die with nothing. All the true value that you can have is always in the way you use the kindness of your life. So kindness needs to be cherished in every moment. When you realize that the value of life lies in the fact that you are living it, you will see that all other things become petty and insignificant. Your life is precious, and the lives of everyone around you are precious too.
Every morning when you wake up, you look up at the clear blue sky with the morning sun rosy, or a young bud that has just sprouted and is still wet with night dew. Each of these beautiful entities reminds you that your life exists, and you should tell yourself that you will not waste a second of your existence in this miraculous life. How will you live to make yourself happy, and bring joy and happiness to everyone around you?
Life is always happening around you, but a lot of times you forget it. You worry about this and that, and you work hard to acquire material possessions, although those things are important, they are all things of the future, and the future cannot be specifically felt as real as the present moment you are living in. When you understand that, you still work equally hard for the goals you aim for, but above all, you are always aware of your present moment of life and always awaken kindness to behave well with people around you.
You practice cultivation today, your goal is to accumulate some good blessings for yourself or your descendants. But really the results of cultivation are still in the future. So your true happiness lies not in the future but in this present moment, in every moment you practice, in the very moment you awaken your kindness. So in the practice, of watering the good karma, you need to know how to awaken your kindness to enjoy the joy in that moment. When you understand that, even after many years of practice, you will not have the results you want and if this happens, you will not suffer. Because you already enjoy the joy in the present while practicing and have nothing to do with a future outcome. You have done your best to have good moments in your life, and so you have no regrets or suffering because of unwanted circumstances.
Indeed, when you have awakened the kindness in you, you can also enjoy the joy of life while walking to the bus stop or waiting for the bus, or during you do any things in your life. Every scene that you see around you is life's priceless gift that you will most likely never have the opportunity to see again. Nor will you waste time daydreaming about the future or regretting the past. Every moment you are living in the fresh air around you is precious. Every person you are fortunate enough to come into contact with is precious. So you must know that your joy is only in touch through kindness and not in dreams and fantasies. Even a flower, a leaf, you also need to be in contact with such a kind heart to feel their existence and beauty.
Live in such a way that your kindness is awakened to flow into a river, a cool stream overflowing with joy and happiness that comes to you in its unceasing flow. Only then will you not waste valuable time, and realize happiness is a completely real thing.
In Vietnam, around the year 1979, it is often said that in a difficult life, because of a piece of rice and a shirt, it is difficult to find a smile. The truth is, It's difficult to find a smile not because people are so busy with life that they forget to smile, but because life in the subsidy system made people want to laugh but couldn't smile. Now, although it is not much, at least in the shops, offices, companies, and banks, people see more smiles, which is the result of the awakened kindness.
According to the authors Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, kindness has very significant power. The authors cite that The Kaplan Thaler Group's growth stems from signing a contract with one of its major partners, US Bank, the sixth largest bank in the United States. On the day of the partner's arrival, although they were well prepared, they still felt afraid when on this visit there was the President of US Bank, Mr. Richard Davis. When the chairman entered the meeting room with his party, he immediately mentioned Frank, the security guard outside. He said:
- He welcomed me very warmly. So I thought, why wouldn't I want to work with a company with people like Frank?
According to Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval when writing about the power of benevolence, they completely no longer believe in the popular philosophy today:
- Honesty often loses
- Being gentle does not guarantee good things.
And they also define:
- Our success is won not with swords but with flowers and chocolates. Our growth is not the result of fear and intimidation but of smiles and praise.
And also according to these two authors suggest the following results of kindness:
1. The result of kindness
The most obvious result is that The Kaplan Thaler Group has become a big name in the advertising industry with nearly a billion dollars in annual revenue. It confirms that kind and gentle people are not always seen as shy, passive people, much less a doormat for aggressive people. Because being gentle doesn't mean being naive or silly. The authors assert:
- Kindness is the hardest word in the world. It means stepping forward with pure confidence, which comes from the realization that you must be extremely compassionate and put the needs of others on par with your own.
2. Kindness will be happy:
According to research by the University of Toronto and according to statistics on the number of divorces, people with a kind and empathetic temperament often have a fifty percent lower divorce rate than other people.
3. Kindness will be healthy:
The authors based on a study from the University of Michigan that showed that elderly people in the US, if they work hard to help others, whether it is volunteering or just helping the neighbors, the rate of premature death is reduced by sixty percent compared to people who never help anyone.
4. Arousing Your Kindness
It is said that there is one very precious thing you can give away without fear of losing anything in your pocket or account, that is:
- Praise
But many people are still frugal and stingy in giving out those free compliments. Also, where is the smile in today's life when you fight each other little by little, through a scowl and annoyed face? Surely no one likes to be treated badly, angry, or criticized by others. So many times in the Digha Nikaya, Sutra to Sigalovada, the Buddha reminds us through the meaning of the Four Elements of Popularity:
- Householder, there are five ways for a good man to treat his friends like the North: giving, loving speech, taking advantage, collaborating with friends, and not deceiving. Householders, then friends have compassion for a good man in five ways: Protecting if a good son is absent-mindedness, maintaining the property of a good man if he is absent-mindedness; becoming a refuge when the good man is in danger; don't stay away when the good man is in trouble, respect the good man's family
Organizations, big or small, if you live and act according to the Four Elements of Popularity, the unity and structure will be tight and create the foundation for sustainable development. That is exactly what European and American authors are trying to promote the power of kindness. Indeed, when you open your heart of kindness to others, you will see how much more beautiful your life is, the story goes.
- One day, there was an old beggar with ragged clothes, messy hair, and an unpleasant odor that stopped in front of a bustling pastry shop. The shoppers standing next to them all covered their noses, frowned, and looked extremely annoyed at the old man.
The salesman shouted:
- Old man, go away! Go now!
The beggar took out some dirty change and said:
- I came to buy cakes! Which type is the smallest?
From inside, the owner of the pastry shop walked out, cheerfully took out a beautiful little cake from the glass cabinet, and gave it to the beggar. Then he bowed deeply and said:
- Thank you for patronizing your purchase! Welcome back next time!
The beggar took the cake from the owner, his face was full of horror, turned and left the bakery. Maybe never in his life had he been treated with such respect!
The bakery owner's grandson witnessed the whole incident, was very puzzled, and asked:
- Grandfather! Why are you so welcoming to that filthy beggar?
The owner of the bakery smiled gently, looked at his grandson, and said:
- Even if he is a beggar, he is still our customer. Came to buy cakes from our shop, and he did not regret spending the hard-earned money. If I did not serve him myself, how could that beggar's favor be worthy of us?
The boss's grandson asked again:
- Then why are you still taking the beggar's money?
The owner smiled and replied.
- Today, he came here as a guest, not to beg you! Of course, we have to respect him! If I didn't take the money, would we have humiliated him?
Make sure you keep this in mind, respect each customer no matter who they are, even if it's a beggar. Because everything we have today is brought by customers. The boy nodded after listening, showing understanding.
The owner of that bakery is the grandfather of Japanese billionaire Yoshiaki Tsutsumi. Billionaire Tsutsumi once said:
- That year, every gesture my grandfather toward that beggar was engraved in my mind.
Later on, Tsutsumi repeated this story to his employees many times so that they could learn to respect customers
Respect is not a common courtesy to please someone, it comes from understanding, appreciating and empathizing, respecting each other. It is also a noble love, giving and not expecting to receive. You respect someone not because you want to gain something from them. Simply because you appreciate them.
Respect helps people, you treat each other with courtesy, not competition or struggle. Respect is often accompanied by kindness, tolerance, and patience. People who respect others will also have good fortune, go around the world, and still be loved. Therefore, His Holiness Meng-Tzu once said:
- If you love people, people will love you back; if you respect people, people will respect you back.
Therefore, respecting others is also respecting yourself, which is also kindness.
In short, once the heart of kindness has been aroused, there will be no difficulties in life, because the heart is one meter wide, and the road will be one mile wide. Open your heart to others, you will see how much more beautiful your life is. The boss knows how to respect the subordinates, and the employees, the company is prosperous, and the heart is united. Traders who know how to respect customers will do business smoothly. To respect even your own enemies is a kind of courage, a kind of wisdom. So Confucius said:
- What you don't want, don't do it to others
This teaching can be considered the most important point of the virtue of respect that I am talking about here. Each person has a different life arranged, a separate path must be taken by you. Never force what you want on someone else's body. Kindness, Tolerance, Peace, and mutual respect are the noblest art of living.
Finally, if you can't be tolerant, patient, and respectful of others, try the following three ways:
1- Accepting differences, tolerant, and generous with others.
2- Control your own behavior so that both are winners.
3- Can move forward or backward, point out the opponent's flaws with compassion, and generosity, don't be too strict, or arrogant, and look down on others.
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