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Human Relationships

“Thank you” is a miraculous expression. We feel good when we say it, and we feel good when we hear it. When we speak or hear the words “thank you," the armor falls from our hearts and we communicate on the deepest level.

A Buddhist scripture states that “the voice does the Buddha’s work.” The voice has the power to convey one’s compassion for another. No matter how much you care, the sentiment alone will not communicate itself. When your feelings are conveyed in words, your voice acquires the immense power to move another person’s heart.

A person who respects others is respected by others in return. Those who treat others with compassion and concern are protected and supported by others. Our environment is essentially a reflection of ourselves.

A sense of sincerity is the one thing that somehow, in a very subtle way, gets across to others. Human beings perhaps possess some deep inner power that allows them to sense sincerity instinctively.The degree to which they can do so is quite astounding.

A single word can scar another. A single word can also give comfort and relief or fill one's spirit with courage. The care with which we use words reflects the depth of our humanity.

Alone, one’s suffering only deepens. Human beings need to be with and among other human beings. Engagement with others forges our character and enriches us.

Buddhism teaches that powerful opponents can actually be our greatest allies, because they enable us to forge strength of character and develop fortitude.

Friendly greetings serve as an opening to heart-to-heart exchange from which we can set out onto the ocean of friendship.

Friendship depends on you, not on the other person. What matters is what you put into a friendship, not what you get out of it.

Friendship is not a matter of the amount of time people spend together. Rather, it is a measure of the strength and depth of the spiritual resonance that arises between them.

Friendship is tested and proven in adversity. Perhaps only those who have suffered truly demoralizing blows can fully appreciate the beauty of friendship.

Friendship is the most beautiful, most powerful and most valuable treasure in life. It is your true wealth. No matter how much status people may gain or how rich they may become, a life without friends leads to an unbalanced, self-centered existence.

Genuine sincerity opens people’s hearts, while manipulation causes them to close.

I believe friendship is the most genuinely humane relationship of which we are capable. To be understood and appreciated for oneself is a vital experience in life.

If a person has just one good friend, their happiness is doubled and their life immeasurably enriched. This is genuine wealth.

If you remain sincere in your interactions with others, you will naturally come to find yourself surrounded by good friends.

If you want to change another person, first change your own heart. When you change, others around you will change.

It is important to keep the promises made to friends. This is the true meaning of friendship. To become people who can do so, however, we must first learn to keep the promises we have made to ourselves.

It is much more valuable to look for the strengths in others—you gain nothing by criticizing people’s imperfections.

It is only when we have experienced the worst, most crushing of times—when we have plumbed the depths of life—that we can experience the joys of genuine friendship. A person of principle, a person who stays true to themselves can be a trusted and true friend, and have real friends in turn.

It is this time and this place that matter―not some other time or place. What matters is here and now―the people here and now.

It may seem easier to remain closed off in our private world, but we will not grow as a person. Alone and isolated, our true potentiality cannot shine. Interaction with others enriches our lives.

Japanese mountain potatoes known as taros are rough and dirty when harvested, but when they are placed in a basin of running water together and rolled against each other, the skin peels away, leaving the potatoes clean and ready for cooking. Similarly, the only way for us to hone and polish our character is through our interactions with others.

Just as a spring breeze awakens tender new shoots of green, sincere encouragement can thaw a frozen heart and instill courage. It is the most powerful means to rejuvenate the human spirit.

Kindness and caring are human qualities that develop to the extent that we strive to encourage others. Caring is not just sympathizing with or pitying others, but having empathy―trying to understand what others are going through. Sometimes just having someone who really understands can give us the strength to go on.

Make an effort to meet with people. Interaction with others opens up new and exciting possibilities. Meeting people stimulates our minds, gives us energy, leads to more new encounters and infinitely expands our life and our world.

One person’s heart moves another’s. If one’s own heart is closed, then the doors of other people’s hearts will also shut tight. On the other hand, someone who makes all those around him or her into allies, bathing them in the sunlight of spring, will be treasured by all.

One who treats others with contempt will eventually find himself shunned and disliked by those around him. Anyone who becomes ensnared in selfishness will discover that in the end he is the one who suffers. On the other hand, a person who shows respect for others will not only come to be respected himself, but will also help spread an attitude of respect for others throughout society.

Our human relationships are like a mirror. So if you’re thinking to yourself, “If only so-and-so were a little nicer to me, I could talk to them about anything,” then that person is probably thinking, “If only such-and-such would open up to me, I would be nicer to them.” Therefore, you should make the first move to open the channels of communication.

Our voice resonates with life. Because this is so, it can inspire the lives of other people. The caring and compassion imbued in your voice finds passage to the listener’s soul, striking his or her heart and causing it to sing out; the human voice summons something profound from deep within, and can even compel a person into action.

People around us reflect the state of our own lives. The environment that we are in, whether favorable or not, is the product of our own life. When we fail to understand this, we tend to blame others for our troubles.

People who come to your aid in a time of personal crisis are people of genuine compassion and courage.

Rather than seeking to better themselves, jealous people focus their energies on dragging others down. Actions rooted in jealousy will only cause suffering and will not create any value or benefit for anyone. We are only able to develop our own good qualities to the extent that we can respect what is admirable in others.

Superficial words do not touch people’s lives. In order to encourage others it is necessary to pour one’s whole heart into our words.

The relationships we have with people are a direct reflection of our inner state of life. To extend and deepen our human relationships is to expand our state of life.

There is no true joy in a life lived closed up in the little shell of the self. When you take one step to reach out to people, when you meet with others and share their thoughts and sufferings, infinite compassion and wisdom well up within your heart. Your life is transformed.

To commiserate with, or feel pity for, someone falls short of genuine compassion. Understanding is key. People can find the strength to carry on simply knowing that there is someone out there that understands them unconditionally.

To encourage another is an intense task of inspiration, of rekindling their life energy and calling forth their indomitable spirit. Underlying this must be an earnest wish for their happiness.

To the extent that we love others, we will be loved. To the extent that we work for others’ happiness, we will enjoy protection and support. This is the law of cause and effect.

To the extent that we reflect on ourselves and elevate our state of life, we can deepen our understanding of others. Someone who does so is capable of treasuring other people’s individuality.

Ultimately, the only way to make good friends is to become a good friend yourself. Good people gather around other good people.

Whatever our condition, so long as we are made to feel necessary to others, we will be moved by the desire to respond. This desire awakens the inner capacities of life, keeping alive the flame of human dignity.

When we can impart to others the sense that they are not alone, they will be able to rise up again to the challenge of living.

When we encourage others, we also gain courage and confidence. Giving encouragement changes ourselves as well as others.

When we suffer some misfortune, we tend to imagine that no one could possibly be as unhappy or as unfortunate. It’s easy to drown in self-pity and turn a blind eye to everyone and everything else. But dwelling on our own pain or discontent and hopelessness only causes our life force to wane even further. It is at such times that we need to rekindle our connections with others, to be concerned for their struggles. In doing so we discover a renewed strength and the will to live.

When we treat children with respect, they in turn learn how to respect others.

When you are sincere in your consideration for others, in even the most trifling matters, you can bring about a complete change in the world around you.

When you respect others, others will respect you. When you despise others, others will come to despise you. When you change, the world around you will change.

Words spoken from the heart and filled with a powerful wish for someone’s happiness can deeply touch that person’s life and revive his or her spirit, even becoming a source of lifelong inspiration.

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