No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?
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No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?

-George Orwell

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Fifteen years ago, a business manager from the United States came to Plum Village to visit me. His conscience was troubled because he was the head of a firm that designed atomic bombs. I listened as he expressed his concerns. I knew if I advised him to quit his job, another person would only replace him. If he were to quit, he might help himself, but he would not help his company, society, or country. I urged him to remain the director of his firm, to bring mindfulness into his daily work, and to use his position to communicate his concerns and doubts about the production of atomic bombs.In the Sutra on Happiness, the Buddha says it is great fortune to have an occupation that allows us to be happy, to help others, and to generate compassion and understanding in this world. Those in the helping professions have occupations that give them this wonderful opportunity. Yet many social workers, physicians, and therapists work in a way that does not cultivate their compassion, instead doing their job only to earn money. If the bomb designer practises and does his work with mindfulness, his job can still nourish his compassion and in some way allow him to help others. He can still influence his government and fellow citizens by bringing greater awareness to the situation. He can give the whole nation an opportunity to question the necessity of bomb production.Many people who are wealthy, powerful, and important in business, politics, and entertainment are not happy. They are seeking empty things - wealth, fame, power, sex - and in the process they are destroying themselves and those around them. In Plum Village, we have organised retreats for businesspeople. We see that they have many problems and suffer just as others do, sometimes even more. We see that their wealth allows them to live in comfortable conditions, yet they still suffer a great deal.Some businesspeople, even those who have persuaded themselves that their work is very important, feel empty in their occupation. They provide employment to many people in their factories, newspapers, insurance firms, and supermarket chains, yet their financial success is an empty happiness because it is not motivated by understanding or compassion. Caught up in their small world of profit and loss, they are unaware of the suffering and poverty in the world. When we are not int ouch with this larger reality, we will lack the compassion we need to nourish and guide us to happiness.Once you begin to realise your interconnectedness with others, your interbeing, you begin to see how your actions affect you and all other life. You begin to question your way of living, to look with new eyes at the quality of your relationships and the way you work. You begin to see, 'I have to earn a living, yes, but I want to earn a living mindfully. I want to try to select a vocation not harmful to others and to the natural world, one that does not misuse resources.'Entire companies can also adopt this way of thinking. Companies have the right to pursue economic growth, but not at the expense of other life. They should respect the life and integrity of people, animals, plants and minerals. Do not invest your time or money in companies that deprive others of their lives, that operate in a way that exploits people or animals, and destroys nature.Businesspeople who visit Plum Village often find that getting in touch with the suffering of others and cultivating understanding brings them happiness. They practise like Anathapindika, a successful businessman who lived at the time of the Buddha, who with the practise of mindfulness throughout his life did everything he could to help the poor and sick people in his homeland.

-Thích Nhất

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It is not the dead rather the ones who lives through war have seen the dreadful end of the war, you might have been victorious, unwounded but deep within you, you carry the mark of the war, you carry the memories of war, the time you have spend with your comrades, the times when you had to dug in to foxholes to avoid shelling, the times when you hate to see your comrade down on the ground, feeling of despair, atrocities of the war, missing families, home. They live through hell and often the most wounded, they live with the guilt, despair, of being in the war, they may be happy but deep down they are a different person. Not everyone is a hero. You live with the moments, time when you were unsuccessful, when your actions would have helped your comrades, when your actions get your comrades killed, you live with regret, joyous in the victory can never help you forget the time you have spent. You are victorious for the people you have lost, the decisions you have made, the courage you have shown but being victorious in the war has a price to pay, irrevocable. You can't take a memory back from a person, even if you lose your memory your imagination haunts you as deep down your sub conscious mind you know who you are, who you were. Close you eyes and you can very well see your past, you cant change your past, time you have spent, you live through all and hence you are a hero not for the glorious war for the times you have faced. Decoration with medals is not going to give your life back. the more you know, more experiences doesn't make it easy rather make its worse. Arms and ammunition kills you once and free you from the misery but the experiences of war kills you everyday, makes you cherish the times everyday through the life. You may forgot that you cant walk anymore, you may forget you cant use your right hand, you may forgot the scars on your face but you can never forgot war. Life without war is never easy and only the ones how survived through it can understand. Soldiers are taught to fight but the actual combat starts after war which you are not even trained for. You rely on your weapon, leaders, comrades, god, luck in the war but here you rely on your self to beat the horrors,they have seen hell, heaven, they have felt the mixed emotions of hope, despair, courage, victory, defeat, scared.

-Pushpa Rana

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like other women i never look at me so closely.there was once a friend of mine who compliment me with simple way-' how you do this? so same slim way i am watching from our teens--and look at me,i do so much..but can not make it in shape..'my friend was sounding helpless.first time i got to know my figure is attractive in a girl's view.second one my mother.she was like watching me very first time -her fingers are too long and beautiful''-i looked back to her voice.she continued -'yes .i never noticed before ..'' i used to heard very ugly comment about my skin color or my may be i never meet the right person who looked at and say- you are beautiful'.is it necessary ?psychology of a person takes a shape on various conditions . one is the truth. you must know the truth.now when i look at me i get surprised - why i never got the truth? and on that basis i thought on society no one will have love for me .so whatever is coming on my way that is only i deserve.it is surprise for me- i had no idea about of myself.all my mistakes done by based on my misconception .and if something good came to me- i started to think no i dont deserve this.because i can not make any one happy.a child need truth about her quality and beauty .that is one tool to make her decision correct .if childhood injected by ugly racist false impression can have big impact . sometimes a child can be talented in various ways,and people don't appreciate because they don't say the truth.because of jealousy or ignorance .society has this racist attitude which destroy many life to grow in correct manner.as a normal human being i always looked at me as people make me to see,and i was not enough educated psychologically that i am taking myself the skin of a death opinion .life has given me a lesson ..is it late to know i am talented ?or i am beautiful?or i can be loved by equally much more talented people than me?perhaps no.i am late.but happy to know the truth.because of the sentence ''you dont ask for more,you are ugly,black''helped me to take wrong decisions .why i am writing this?because life ask me to so.that no one who is talented beautiful by heart do feel less than anything she dream for.today i looked at me - i am in pain,love,pampered by destiny,and i feel 'yes i deserve to be one part of this world. this is a story of a life what is happening this moment somewhere else.no one should think less about themselves.

-Lity Munshi

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