I love how easy it is to find inspiring stories online, but sometimes I want a book. I was one of those kids who was happier in a library than a playground, and I still have a deep attachment to books — the infinite possibilities in unread pages, and the sensation of coming home when the pages are much-read and beloved.
Today I am reading a few pages of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Creating True Peace. I am not Buddhist, but I’ve found that there are writers from many of the world’s traditions that resonate with me, and Thich Nhat Hanh is one of these.
[M]any people find it difficult to communicate effectively because they have so much frustration and anger built up inside. Even when we come to another person with sincere goodwill and the intention to listen, if we are unable to use calm, loving speech, there is no hope that the other person will hear us and understand what we are trying to say. We may intend to use calm and loving speech, but often as we start speaking, our pain, despair, and fear emerge. In spite of our best intentions, we start to blame, complain, and judge harshly. …
How then do we reach the point where we are able to listen deeply to one another and to use loving speech? To do this, we first have to practice taking care of our own pain and anger.
– Thich Nhat Hanh, Creating True Peace
Last night I noticed my state of general frustration, which came out especially whenever I was dealing with anyone under the age of twenty. So today I am working on cultivating a better mental state, and especially better communication with my children.