It occurred to Pooh and Piglet that they hadn’t heard from Eeyore for several days, so they put on their hats and coats and trotted across the Hundred Acre Wood to Eeyore’s stick house. Inside the house was Eeyore.
“Hello Eeyore,” said Pooh.
“Hello Pooh. Hello Piglet,” said Eeyore, in a Glum Sounding Voice.
“We just thought we’d check in on you,” said Piglet, “because we hadn’t heard from you, and so we wanted to know if you were okay.”
Eeyore was silent for a moment. “Am I okay?” he asked, eventually. “Well, I don’t know, to be honest. Are any of us really okay? That’s what I ask myself. All I can tell you, Pooh and Piglet, is that right now I feel really rather Sad, and Alone, and Not Much Fun To Be Around At All. Which is why I haven’t bothered you. Because you wouldn’t want to waste your time hanging out with someone who is Sad, and Alone, and Not Much Fun To Be Around At All, would you now.”
Pooh looked at Piglet, and Piglet looked at Pooh, and they both sat down, one on either side of Eeyore in his stick house.
Eeyore looked at them in surprise. “What are you doing?”
“We’re sitting here with you,” said Pooh, “because we are your friends. And true friends don’t care if someone is feeling Sad, or Alone, or Not Much Fun To Be Around At All. True friends are there for you anyway. And so here we are.”
“Oh,” said Eeyore. “Oh.” And the three of them sat there in silence, and while Pooh and Piglet said nothing at all; somehow, almost imperceptibly, Eeyore started to feel a very tiny little bit better.
Because Pooh and Piglet were There.
No more; no less.
(A.A. Milne, E.H. Shepard)
𝒀𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒃𝒆 𝒑𝒖𝒏𝒊𝒔𝒉𝒆𝒅 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒓, 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒓 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒖𝒏𝒊𝒔𝒉𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕.
~ 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑩𝒖𝒅𝒅𝒉𝒂 ~
𝑨 𝑫𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒎𝒂 𝑮𝒊𝒇𝒕 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒀𝒐𝒖 𝑨𝒍𝒍 𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒘𝒆 𝒂𝒄𝒕 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔, 𝒑𝒖𝒓𝒆 𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒄𝒆𝒓𝒏 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓, 𝒘𝒆 𝒎𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒂𝒍𝒘𝒂𝒚𝒔 𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒑𝒖𝒓𝒆. 𝑾𝒆 𝒎𝒂𝒚 𝒓𝒖𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒖𝒓𝒑𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒌 𝒐𝒇 𝒃𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒎𝒊𝒔𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒆𝒅 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆. 𝑯𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓, 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒕, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒂𝒔𝒌 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒉𝒐𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒍𝒚, “ 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒎𝒚 𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔,” 𝒊𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒔𝒘𝒆𝒓, 𝒃𝒆𝒚𝒐𝒏𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒚 𝒅𝒐𝒖𝒃𝒕, 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆, 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒏𝒐 𝒂𝒎𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒎𝒊𝒔𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒕𝒉. 𝑬𝒗𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒕 𝒎𝒂𝒚 𝒃𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒌 𝒂 𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒍𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒕𝒓𝒊𝒈𝒈𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒐𝒇 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒔, 𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒑𝒂𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒂𝒃𝒊𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒔. 𝑰𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒚 𝒃𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒉𝒖𝒎𝒂𝒏… 𝒏𝒂𝒎𝒂𝒔𝒕𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑩𝒘𝒆𝒍𝒍
“𝑺𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆𝒔 𝒇𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒂 𝒔𝒎𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒔𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒎 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒌𝒆𝒆𝒑𝒔 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒅𝒊𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔. 𝒀𝒐𝒖 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆 𝒅𝒊𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒎 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒔𝒆𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖. 𝒀𝒐𝒖 𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒏 𝒂𝒈𝒂𝒊𝒏, 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒎 𝒂𝒅𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕𝒔. 𝑶𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒐𝒖𝒕, 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒐𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒐𝒖𝒔 𝒅𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒅𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒅𝒂𝒘𝒏. 𝑾𝒉𝒚? 𝑩𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒎 𝒊𝒔𝒏’𝒕 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒃𝒍𝒆𝒘 𝒊𝒏 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒇𝒂𝒓 𝒂𝒘𝒂𝒚, 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒅𝒐 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒚𝒐𝒖. 𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒎 𝒊𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖. 𝑺𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒏𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖. 𝑺𝒐 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒅𝒐 𝒊𝒔 𝒈𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒊𝒕, 𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒑 𝒓𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒊𝒏𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒎, 𝒄𝒍𝒐𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒆𝒚𝒆𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒑𝒍𝒖𝒈𝒈𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒖𝒑 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒔 𝒔𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒅𝒐𝒆𝒔𝒏’𝒕 𝒈𝒆𝒕 𝒊𝒏, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒂𝒍𝒌 𝒕𝒉𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒊𝒕, 𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒑 𝒃𝒚 𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒑. 𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆’𝒔 𝒏𝒐 𝒔𝒖𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆, 𝒏𝒐 𝒎𝒐𝒐𝒏, 𝒏𝒐 𝒅𝒊𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏, 𝒏𝒐 𝒔𝒆𝒏𝒔𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆. 𝑱𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒇𝒊𝒏𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒕𝒆 𝒔𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒘𝒊𝒓𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒖𝒑 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒌𝒚 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒑𝒖𝒍𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒛𝒆𝒅 𝒃𝒐𝒏𝒆𝒔. 𝑻𝒉𝒂𝒕’𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒇 𝒔𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒎 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒏𝒆𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒊𝒎𝒂𝒈𝒊𝒏𝒆.
𝑨𝒏𝒅 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒊𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒗𝒊𝒐𝒍𝒆𝒏𝒕, 𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒂𝒑𝒉𝒚𝒔𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒍, 𝒔𝒚𝒎𝒃𝒐𝒍𝒊𝒄 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒎. 𝑵𝒐 𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒂𝒑𝒉𝒚𝒔𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒍 𝒐𝒓 𝒔𝒚𝒎𝒃𝒐𝒍𝒊𝒄 𝒊𝒕 𝒎𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒃𝒆, 𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒏𝒐 𝒎𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒊𝒕: 𝒊𝒕 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒄𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒇𝒍𝒆𝒔𝒉 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒂 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒔𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒓𝒂𝒛𝒐𝒓 𝒃𝒍𝒂𝒅𝒆𝒔. 𝑷𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒃𝒍𝒆𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒃𝒍𝒆𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐𝒐. 𝑯𝒐𝒕, 𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒃𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒅. 𝒀𝒐𝒖’𝒍𝒍 𝒄𝒂𝒕𝒄𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒃𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒔, 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝒃𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒃𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝒐𝒇 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒔.
𝑨𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒎 𝒊𝒔 𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒐𝒏’𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒎𝒂𝒅𝒆 𝒊𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉, 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒂𝒈𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒖𝒓𝒗𝒊𝒗𝒆. 𝒀𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒐𝒏’𝒕 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒏 𝒃𝒆 𝒔𝒖𝒓𝒆, 𝒊𝒏 𝒇𝒂𝒄𝒕, 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒎 𝒊𝒔 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒓. 𝑩𝒖𝒕 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒔 𝒄𝒆𝒓𝒕𝒂𝒊𝒏. 𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒎 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒐𝒏’𝒕 𝒃𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒂𝒎𝒆 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒐𝒏 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒘𝒂𝒍𝒌𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏. 𝑻𝒉𝒂𝒕’𝒔 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒎’𝒔 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒕.” 𝑯𝒂𝒓𝒖𝒌𝒊 𝑴𝒖𝒓𝒂𝒌𝒂𝒎𝒊
𝑬𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒅𝒂𝒓𝒌 𝒄𝒍𝒐𝒖𝒅 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒂 𝒔𝒊𝒍𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈.
𝑰𝒕’𝒔 𝒂𝒍𝒘𝒂𝒚𝒔 𝒅𝒂𝒓𝒌𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒅𝒂𝒘𝒏.
𝑶𝒖𝒓 𝒄𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒌𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕, 𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒆𝒔 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒖𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒍𝒆𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒊𝒏. 𝑰𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒘𝒂𝒚 𝒐𝒇 𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒕𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒇𝒊𝒕 𝒐𝒓 𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒂 𝒏𝒆𝒘 𝒎𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒆𝒙𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆𝒔 𝒃𝒂𝒔𝒆𝒅 𝒐𝒏 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔, 𝒃𝒂𝒔𝒆𝒅 𝒐𝒏 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒘𝒆 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒘𝒆 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔.
𝑶𝒖𝒓 𝒇𝒂𝒖𝒍𝒕 𝒍𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒘𝒆 𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒔𝒆 𝒄𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒌𝒔, 𝒕𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒉𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒍𝒆𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒎 𝒓𝒖𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒘𝒆 𝒄𝒂𝒏𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒂𝒄𝒄𝒆𝒑𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒔𝒆 𝒑𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒘𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒆.
𝑰𝒏 𝑲𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒔𝒖𝒈𝒊, 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒂𝒓𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒑𝒐𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒄𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒎𝒊𝒄𝒔 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒂 𝒈𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒄𝒄𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒔𝒆 𝒔𝒄𝒂𝒓𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒆𝒙𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆, 𝒂𝒄𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘𝒍𝒆𝒅𝒈𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒆𝒂𝒄𝒉 𝒑𝒊𝒆𝒄𝒆 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒋𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒏𝒆𝒚 𝒂𝒔 𝒃𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂 𝒗𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒊𝒎𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒑𝒂𝒓𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒆. 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒌𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒈𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒄𝒄𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒄𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒃𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒋𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒏𝒆𝒚, 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒆𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒖𝒕𝒚 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒈𝒓𝒐𝒕𝒆𝒔𝒒𝒖𝒆.
𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒘𝒆 𝒔𝒉𝒊𝒇𝒕 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒐 𝒂 𝒏𝒆𝒘 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒄𝒆𝒑𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏, 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒏𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒃𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒌 𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒎𝒐𝒅𝒆𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒉𝒂𝒃𝒊𝒕𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒃𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒆 𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒅 𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒗𝒊𝒐𝒖𝒔𝒍𝒚 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒇𝒆𝒂𝒓, 𝒍𝒂𝒄𝒌, 𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒐𝒓 𝒍𝒐𝒔𝒔.
𝑮𝒓𝒐𝒘𝒕𝒉 𝒊𝒏𝒗𝒐𝒍𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒍𝒆𝒕𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒈𝒐, 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒖𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒍𝒆𝒕 𝒈𝒐 𝒐𝒇 𝒂𝒔 𝒂 𝒃𝒖𝒊𝒍𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒃𝒍𝒐𝒄𝒌 𝒐𝒇 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒎𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒔𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏. 𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒈𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒖𝒔 𝒂 𝒔𝒐𝒍𝒊𝒅 𝒈𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒇 𝒂𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒑 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒖𝒏𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘𝒏, 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒍𝒚 𝒔𝒆𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒇𝒆𝒆𝒍 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒔𝒊𝒍𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈. 𝑨𝒔 𝒘𝒆 𝒂𝒄𝒄𝒆𝒑𝒕 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒐𝒇 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒑𝒔 𝒕𝒐𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒅𝒔 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒘𝒆 𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒐𝒘 𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒈𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒉𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒕𝒖𝒅𝒆 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒆 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒍𝒆𝒕 𝒈𝒐 𝒐𝒇.
𝑨𝒔 𝒘𝒆 𝒍𝒆𝒕 𝒈𝒐 𝒐𝒇 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒆 𝒆𝒙𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒕, 𝒘𝒆 𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒐𝒘 𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒆𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒆 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒚 𝒇𝒐𝒓.
𝑨𝒄𝒄𝒆𝒑𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒄𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒌𝒔, 𝒇𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒎 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝒍𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒃𝒆𝒈𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒈𝒍𝒐𝒘 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒔𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏.
𝑬𝒎𝒃𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒔𝒉𝒂𝒅𝒐𝒘, 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒍𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕.
“There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer.
When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly.
Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.”
~ Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World
Gather together your tribe (family, friends and strangers alike) and choose a principal to discuss. See how others can expand your consciousness. See how as a collective you can bring some light into the world through focused discussion. The sangha is a part—together with the Buddha and the dharma (teaching)—of the Threefold Refuge, a basic creed of Buddhism.
the Buddhist community of monks, nuns, novices, and laity.
Thich Nhat Hahn on the Sangha **
“The trees, water, air, birds, and so on can all be members of our sangha. A beautiful walking path may be part of our sangha. A good cushion can be also.”
The practice of Buddhism should help people re-enter society in order to rediscover and accept the good things that are there in their culture and to rebuild those that are not.”
“If we see a group of people living mindfully, capable of smiling, of loving, we gain confidence in our future.”
“To practice right mindfulness we need the right environment, and that environment is our sangha.”
“When you allow yourself to be in a sangha the way a drop of water allows itself to be in a river, the energy of the sangha can penetrate into you, and transformation and healing will become possible.”
“We don’t have to force ourselves to practice. We can give up all the struggle and allow ourselves to be, to rest. For this, however, we need a little bit of training, and the sangha is there to make the training easy.”
“We are always running, and it is hard for us to stop and be here in the present moment, to encounter life. With sangha you will be able to learn the art of stopping.”
“You don’t sit for yourself alone, you sit for the whole sangha—not only the sangha, but also for the people in your city, because when one person in the city is less angry, is smiling more, the whole city profits.”
**Reprinted from Friends on the Path: Living Spiritual Communities (2002) by Thich Nhat Hanh