Turning Our Lives Towards Kindness Can Be Done

Turning our lives in the direction of kindness can be done… It can only bring benefit and happiness. I can do it. You can do it.

~ Sharon Salzberg

Longtime Buddhist teacher, Sharon Salzberg, says the above shortly after quoting the following passage from the Buddha’s teachings.  This is a sutra I’ve never heard of before and it’s an amazing match for one of my core needs, i.e., believing/trusting that I too am capable of change for the better. (The emphasis below is mine.)

We Can Do It

Abandon what is unskillful,
One can abandon the unskillful,
If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do so.
If this abandoning of the unskillful would bring harm and suffering,
I would not ask you to abandon it.
But as the abandoning of the unskillful brings benefit and happiness,
Therefore, I say, “abandon what is unskillful.”
Cultivate the good,
You can cultivate the good.
If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it.

If this cultivation of the good would bring harm and suffering,
I would not ask you to cultivate it.
But as the cultivation of the good brings benefit and happiness,
Therefore, I say, “Cultivate the good!”

~ The Buddha, Anuttara-Nikaya.
Sharon Salzberg, The Kindness Handbook: A Practical Companion (Boulder: Sounds True, 2008) 35-36.