I Know the Richest Person on Earth


In our Intercultural Studies class today
Mariah, Ta’mare, and Rachel read the following stanzas
Of “Our True Heritage” by Thích Nhất Hạnh:

The cosmos is filled with precious gems.
I want to offer a handful of them to you this morning.
Each moment you are alive is a gem,
shining through and containing earth and sky,
water and clouds.

It needs you to breathe gently
for the miracles to be displayed.
Suddenly you hear the birds singing,
the pines chanting,
see the flowers blooming,
the blue sky,
the white clouds,
the smile and the marvelous look
of your beloved.

You, the richest person on Earth,
who have been going around begging for a living,
stop being the destitute child.
Come back and claim your heritage.
We should enjoy our happiness
and offer it to everyone.
Cherish this very moment.
Let go of the stream of distress
and embrace life fully in your arms.


I then asked the students to discuss these questions:
Do you feel like “the richest person on Earth”?
What would make you happy, right now?
To whom do you typically offer your happiness?


After several minutes
I asked if anyone would like to share
Anlin (who came to the United States
From China last August)
Said with deep conviction
“I am the richest person on Earth
My parents love me
My friends love me
Yes, I am the richest person on Earth”



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