This week we’re witnessing so much violence, heartbreak, and hatred in the brutal conflict between Israelis and Hamas.  That may be why I’m drawn yet again to the writing of Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh.  Today is his birthday; he was born in Vietnam in 1926.

When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.”

Let’s let the lettuce shape our prayers as we navigate these days.

What helps you opt out of the cycle of blame?


-Written by Rev. Ann Palmerton

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  1. Betty Lou Stull October 11, 2023 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Love Thich Nhat Hanh and wisdom. Just when I think world affairs can’t get worse, I discover we still haven’t hit rock bottom. Thanks for sharing his wisdom. I find intentional breathing helpful.

  2. Betty Lou Stull October 11, 2023 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    his wisdom.

  3. Nancy Hobe October 11, 2023 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    I like the adage, “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.” It often works.

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