To navigate through the vicissitudes of life, gratitude and hope are necessary values to develop. Gratitude is a positive mental quality that comes from reflecting on the support that we have received, often through the kindness of our parents, teachers, friends and many other people. It opens up our hearts to those around us and enables us to enjoy the full blessings of life in this very moment. This warm feeling of thankfulness will anchor us in harmonious and caring thoughts, speech and action for those around us.
Hope is key when we face difficulties and uncertainty; it allows us to see that even the darkest and most foreboding cloud has a silver lining. Having experienced that pleasures and excitement wither with time, we must not forget that our sorrow, anger and pain will also eventually ease. Just as the humble oyster turns grains of sand to a beautiful pearl, so too can we learn from the hardship we face today to make tomorrow a better day.
It is always easier to dwell in the negativity and anger, but it doesn’t bring us anywhere nearer to happiness and peace. Let’s keep our minds focussed on the positivity and possibilities we can bring to ourselves and others. May you keep safe and well.
– Excerpt of a Dhamma talk by Bro. Tan Siang Chye