"People confuse the source of their happiness. They become temporarily happy when they get a new car, or a new house, or a new marriage. And they think that they are suddenly happy because of this new thing in their life. In reality, they are happy because for a brief moment, they are without desire. But then soon another desire comes along. And the search continues."
"I’m new at all this." "What’s been the toughest part?" "When she’s crying, and I don’t know why and I don’t know how to fix it." "What’s been the most satisfying part?" "When she looks at me and smiles, as if saying: ‘Thank you Mom.’"
"I’ve got a wife and three kids, and a job I’m trying to hold on to. It’s a lot of work and it’s a lot to worry about, so it’s easy to fall into a routine where all I’m doing is worrying about the next moment. In the midst of all this, sometimes I have to force myself to step back and appreciate the wonderful things that have already happened: one of my children is a budding artist, the other is beautifully kind, and the other is full of energy and potential. And they’re all happy. And they’re all healthy."
"I taught English in Thailand for a year, and I tried to continue in education when I returned to the United States, but it wasn’t nearly as fulfilling for me. In Thailand, teachers are really revered. In the hierarchy of prestige, it goes: kings, then monks, then teachers. Parents would always be asking for advice. My students would come up and hug me in the streets. It was almost like I was being welcomed into the families of my students, and we were working together toward education. Back in America, it felt like Home and School were two different zones. It felt more isolating. In Thailand, I definitely felt like I was making a difference. In America, it felt like ‘maybe’ I was making a difference.”