Because of your smile you make life more beautiful: Thich Nhat Hanh

The following excerpt is from a talk by Thich Nhat Hanh which is available as an audio recording called Being Peace. There are jewels in it everywhere and I’ll be sharing some of them. This one in particular demonstrates what I find delightful in his words and approach: his emphasis on joy and beauty, and his love and respect for children and their ability to show us how to live.

“… Look at the bodhisattvas, the bodhisattvas are very beautifully dressed, smiling all the time. Today I have asked all the children to dress beautifully in order to be bodhisattvas, and the other day, during a dharma talk, children were sitting in front of me and there was a boy whose name is Tim smiling beautifully, and I said, ‘Tim, you have a very beautiful smile.’

And he said, ‘Thank you.’

I said, ‘No, you don’t have to thank me. I have to thank you. Because of your smile you make life more beautiful, so instead of saying thank you, you should say, ‘You are welcome’.

[audience laughs]

And then in the last two days, the children have been smiling a lot and when I look at them, they say, ‘You are welcome’.”

*

~ From Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh

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