Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Enemy

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.


Bonita said...

In one of your earlier comments above you mentioned how important it is to have the freedom to fail. We strive to do our best, and sometimes we fall short. That can be so painful we cry in anger.

Anonymous said...

Your website has a useful information for beginners like me.

Yves said...

"The enemy's name is greed, falsehood, hatred, violence..."

Where do we find these? If not in ourselves, we do not see them anywhere.