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Joy Begets Joy

By Claudia Wieland

Although I live in the peaceful, beautiful countryside of Germany, the news of the growing extremism of my people shatters my heart. I have contacted a German family who take care of nearby refugee families who are scared and lonely. For example, gypsies from Romania and people from Yugoslavia say, "We escaped the war in Yugoslavia, and here we find war again." Our group offers joy and help to these new residents, showing that there is love and understanding. It is inspiring to see how fresh and joyful the children are, even when the situation is so hard on their parents.

"I vow to offer joy to one person in the morning and to help relieve the grief of one person in the afternoon." This is the gatha I follow these days. The miracle is that the more joy I give, the more my heart is filled with joy. My experience is showing me that when I just swallow the bad news it creates depression and numbness in me. But when I respond to the problems in the world, it makes me feel alive and interconnected.

Claudia Wieland, Chan Nguyet Quang, lives in Tufingen, Germany, near Munich.

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Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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