We vow to bring joy to one person in the morning, and to ease the pain of one person in the afternoon. We know that the happiness of others is indeed our own happiness, and we vow to practice joy on the path of service. We know that every word, every look, every smile can bring happiness to another person. We know that if we practice wholeheartedly, then we ourselves may become an inexhaustible source of peace and joy for our clients, our customers, our coworkers, our family, and our friends. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
How little we know about our effects on others. No doubt we’ve all had experiences where someone thanked us later for something we didn’t even remember doing or saying. And times when a scowl or smile from another could profoundly affect our moods.
I like this idea of practicing joy on the path of service. Some people do it naturally, or at least it seems effortless. I’m especially thinking of my friend Silvia. And I like the idea that it adds to, rather than depleting, our energy–that “practicing wholeheartedly” keeps us available to others.
Only now am I beginning to understand that life is a series of choices, steps in a particular direction, and that every step (and every smile) matters.