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by Venerable Master Hsing Yun (1927 - , Fo Guang Shan)
English translation: Man Ho

Take initiative in doing good deeds.
Take initiative in speaking good words.
Take initiative in thinking good thoughts.
Take initiative in respecting all good people.

Repeated action becomes habit.
Habit becomes character.
Character becomes fate.
Fate rules your life.

There’s a dangerous abyss in the lure of a beauty.
There are demon’s claws that ensnare you with gold.
There’s a vicious trap in a life of drugs.
There’s moral rot in the life of idleness.

A gifted person gains energy from adversity.
A gifted person turns harsh words
into the music of compassion,
loving-kindness, joyfulness, and equanimity.

── from The Everlasting Light