Constructive Living: Unpublished Texts Series #2

Do the now well.
The following is from David K. Reynolds’s book “Reflections on the Dhammaphada.”
You can read the entire text online here

Chapter 8

Words are gifts, too. Offer your best gifts to others. They are the giftwrap and the gift itself. Truthful gifts that provoke thought are especially valuable. Showy gifts reflect poorly on the giver and recipient. Flowery gifts waste everyone’s time.

You are gifted with life. Use it well. Even as you give yourself away you are merely passing along a gift. The quality of this life gift depends on how it is used. Put your life to good use by working on your debt to the givers of your life. The size of the gift is less important than the quality and the care with which it is put to use.

Chapter 9

Move straightforwardly toward your goals. Distractions are intruding goals. Distractions, like feelings, contain information and so should neither be discounted nor fixated upon.

When you make a mistake, when you do something that by your lights is wrong, immediately turn to your next purpose. What needs doing next? Correcting the mistake or righting the wrong may well be what needs doing next. Keep on doing what is right by your own standards. Thus you accumulate a history of doing right. Thus you develop an upright character.

Sometimes mistakes and evil deeds are rewarded and good deeds are punished. No one guarantees just results. Nevertheless, to flit with any breeze to attain your goals will leave you scattered and dissipated. Whatever the results you are responsible for your actions.

Bad associates don’t cause bad behavior. Bad upbringing doesn’t cause bad behavior. Race or economic conditions or social status or genetic makeup don’t cause bad behavior. You are responsible for what you do.

In the end death happens to us. In the end death happens.

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