Thursday, February 15, 2007

reflections on love, part II

"One compassionate word, action, or thought can reduce another person's suffering and bring him joy. One word can give comfort and confidence, destroy doubt, help someone avoid a mistake, reconcile a conflict, or open the door to liberation. One action can save a person's life or help him take advantage of a rare opportunity. One thought can do the same, because thoughts always lead to words and actions. With compassion in our hearts, every thought, word, and deed can bring about a miracle."

Thich Nhat Hanh, "Teachings On Love"

I love this teaching in part because it makes me mindful of the power of each thought, word, and action I have. It helps me to be more careful in one sense, but also gives me a sense of profound hope that these simple things can make a difference.


Lisa said...

Regarding your earlier post about the young man who would prefer to return to his abusive father than stay in foster care any longer.

As a former foster child, I thank you for offering him words of caution.

I would be happy to correspond with you about foster children, attachment issues and PTSD.

I have actually created a blog to address this subject:

There is a link to email me on this blog, and on my signature blog:


Magdalene6127 said...

Really lovely Steve. Thank you for sharing this profoundly true teaching.


more cows than people said...

yes, it is remarkable isn't it? the power of simple actions and words. thanks for sharing this. i do see resonance with the discernment story i just shared.

steve said...


Thanks for dropping by. The emotional dilemma for our children in the foster-care system is difficult and painful. Thank you for your kind words and sharing your thoughts.


Thanks, mags! This is one of my favorite teachings.

more cows,

It's easy to forget, I think, that these simple acts really can be powerful. One of the reasons I find this teaching so hopeful is that it suggests we actually can make a difference, do make a difference in one way or another all the time.