A long time ago I came upon a poem by the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, called “The Enemy”. I hope I can find that soon! It said something like:
“the enemy is not a person, if you kill people then with whom shall you live, the enemy’s name is greed, falsehood, hatred, violence…”
I was haunted by that. I was in the middle of a protracted, ugly conflict with a colleague. I was consumed by anger and a sense of self-righteousness. But I was not entirely convinced about my own motivations. Thich Nhat Hanh’s poem struck a deep chord in me, and made me see that it was I who needed to become a better person.
Since then I have been fortunate to know more about Thich Nhat Hanh and his work, and read some of his writings. I am reproducing below some inspiring pieces by him.