Teach this triple truth to all: a generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.
Though these lessons are about 2500 years old, and the time between our modern age and the time of Shakyamuni Buddha is spanned over two millennia, the basis of the "Triple Truth" he speaks of has not changed all that much. Here, I give a breakdown of my interpretation of how I can use the three aspects of this lesson in my everyday life. I think you will see that it won't take you too far out of your way to bring some light of your own to humanity.
A Generous Heart: being generous can mean so many things. Yes, the first thing you are probably thinking of is being generous with your money. Donating money to a good cause or charity is important. Helping others in this way is great, not only for them, but you will reap the rewards of tuning your vibrations into being one who gives freely; and the Universe will reward you right back. You can also be generous with your time. Volunteering your time to help others is a fantastic way to give back and share some generosity. Even just taking the time to do something nice for someone else on a day to day basis is a great way to show generosity and selflessness.
Kind Speech: Always try to be mindful of what you are saying. Take a split second before you speak to gauge whether or not what you are about to say will be beneficial or harmful. Be the one who 'gifts' someone else with a kind word. Words are so powerful, for those who hear them, and those who speak them. Try to remember to think first before 'stirring the pot', so to speak, with gossip, or anything you know in your heart will be hurtful to someone else. Really decide if it's worth it. This is one of the difficult changes for me, personally, because we tend to do it without a second thought, and it is such a habit to 'speak our minds'. I have to really be diligent in asking myself "is it worth it?" when I want to argue or feel the need to be 'right'. It took a bit of practice, but I really do feel so much better when I concede and keep my undue opinions to myself. I'm not always successful at it, but it's becoming the new habit for me.
A Life of Service and Compassion: "How may I serve" is a new thought I have very recently familiarized myself with. It's a shocking concept when we are so used to being a selfish breed. Think of all the different ways you can serve; you might be surprised with what you come up with. Pick one, practice it. See how that makes you feel. Notice that you have not lost anything from it, but more than likely gained something invaluable. There are many different ways to serve another. Again, volunteering is a great way to serve your community, but the way I have come to learn to serve is by lending myself to being there for someone else in need, the best way I can. If that just means being a good friend and listening, you are serving. Or if it means being a little less selfish and stepping up to be available when needed, for whatever reason, that's servitude, as well. This does not mean to completely sacrifice yourself all off the time. Just be a little more conscious of another's needs, not just your own, and serve with an open heart, out of love and compassion.
Speaking of Compassion, I've just recently come to the realization that everyone wants the same thing: to be happy. If we can look at each other in this way, that we are all in the "same boat", that we are all basically the same, our compassion for each other will grow. Our love will expand to them as we should love ourselves. When we see in another the suffering that we ourselves have endured, our compassion for their suffering will grow, and we will want them to suffer no more, just as we long to end our own suffering. When you start to see other people like this, hopefully your compassion for them will grow into something that will encourage you to treat people with a more kind, open heart.
I know I always say this, but just imagine what would happen if each person set aside their differences, their selfishness, and their fear and lived with a more compassionate, generous and kind way about them, thinking of others before themselves a little more. What kind of world would we live in? I really want to see that world, and live in it. It's up to each one of us to decide to be better. We can create that world, even if it's just the small "world" of your everyday life within your circle of existence.
When you drop a pebble in the water, no matter how small, it still forms concentric rings that affect the whole body of water. Let your smile, your generosity, kindness and compassion be that pebble.
Thank you for being here today.
(*Note: The wisdoms that I speak of here are taken from the multiple teachings that I have observed through books and video along my journey from authors and teachers such as Dr. Wayne Dyer and the Venerable Thubten Chodron, a Western (American) Buddhist Nun who speaks very plainly about how to relate our Western modern selves to becoming better people through compassion and wisdom)