*To eliminate ego
There are two ways of religious practice. One is to end the worldly burden by entering a religious life. The other is to practice religion concurrently with living the mundane life, and to guide our family on the religious path.
Which one is right, and which one is wrong? Which one is fast, and which one is slow? Which one is difficult, and which one is easy?
No way is right or wrong. No way is fast or slow, and no way is difficult or easy, but we must choose an appropriate way to follow. Following an appropriate way, we can go faster and more easily.
How can we know which way is appropriate for us?
First of all, we need to eliminate the word “greed”: greed for religious practice, greed for advancement, greed for knowledge, greed for becoming Buddha, greed for salvation. For greed always leads to selfishness, and because of selfishness we will be irrational in every way, and eventually we will face an impasse; therefore we cannot deliver ourselves. When we are unable to deliver ourselves, how can we become Buddha and bring salvation?
Thus, we have to uproot greed and selfishness. How can we achieve this?
First, we need to be honest with ourselves and have the willpower to observe ourselves thoroughly at every moment; we must be determined to correct ourselves and purify ourselves from all the uncleanliness and darkness that we have learned and practiced from an early age.
To succeed, we need to practice and forge appropriate characteristics that will lead to success.
Being too kind may lead to weakness and fearfulness. Being too humble may lead to recession, avoidance of all things. Being overly meek may gradually lead to pessimism and thereby cause us no longer to see our own values or to know what we can really do. Being overly kind or meek only leads us to the breakdown of our self-confidence. This is an obstacle to our success.
We should be clear-headed to see what needs to be done and do it. Do not let our easygoing and meek characters make us change our intentions. If so, we will gradually become weak, and we will tend to avoid things or let them go by. We must be our own master, be the master of all actions, all steps. Do not be offended and hurt when others are against our ideas, and do not therefore change our plans. They are responsible of their own works as we are responsible of ours; so we need to advance, since they have drawn their own roadmap as we have drawn ours. Thus, we are not influenced by others and the circumstances. Others’ work will not affect nor change our direction and approach, which we have drawn and on which determined to follow through. If one person can affect us, ten others can as well, so we will fall into darkness without a clear direction. Be calm and wise to walk steadfastly on our road. Once we have seen it clearly, just proceed ahead. Do not change, recede, or hesitate, and always think positively. When we think positively, we will have positive actions and words that can affect others, and eventually they will help us, paving the way to easiness. With more easiness, our chance for success will become greater and faster.
*To end fear
In order to build an individual, an organization, a party, a powerful nation , first of all we need to overcome fear.
Fear is darkness, the demon that has destroyed leaders of many organizations, parties, and nations. Fear has crushed down much of the willpower of talented and capable people. Fear has transformed many heroes into cowards and weaklings. Fear has prevented many, even though they knew they were right and thought right, from daring to speak up. Fear has created hypocrisy in many who claimed that they withdrew out of modesty, not to avoid responsibility. Fear has tolerated many who bring troubles in the community, shame to different organizations, or even ruin an entire nation.
Because fear makes an individual dare not expose his own mistakes to correct himself. Fear causes many individuals to dare not raise their voice to correct the mistakes of their community or party, and instead only to clap their hands to praise. Fear causes many leaders to care only about holding strongly onto their positions, about being rich and powerful, and never to dare talk about the mistakes of their entity; in other words, it causes them not to know how to sacrifice for their nation.
Fear causes a living man to become a fake man; and a fake man is only a dead man.
If we want to save ourselves, to help our organization develop, to strengthen our community, to save our nation, we need to end fear.
*To create faith in the world
If we are unable to create faith in each of the nations where we are now living, how can we create faith in the world that we are able to rebuild the future Vietnam?
How can we make the world believe that the Vietnamese are capable of rebuilding a new Vietnam?
First, we should be able to build each small Vietnamese community all over the world.
How can we build a sound and safe community?
First, we need to build each individual in that small community, and his or her family; and the most important factor is that each individual of the older generation needs to recognize that the future of our nation is in the hands of the younger generation.
We cannot have a happy family when the children are spoiled, drugged, uneducated, when they steal and rob.
We cannot build a strong community when families in that community are in conflict and break up. The father is in one place, the mother is in another place, and children are somewhere else.
We cannot build a strong community with all the social ills of gangs, of robberies and homicides committed by young people.
We cannot build a strong community with individuals who are arrogant, who cheat, deceive, and besmirch one another to get to power and protect their own interests.
One spoiled individual will create a spoiled family. One spoiled family will be a bad seed for a spoiled community.
Thus, to reform a community, each individual needs to recognize his or her own role and responsibilities toward his or her own self, toward his or her own family, toward his or her own community, and toward his or her own country and people.