Helping Others

Helping Others

Particularly on Buddhist holidays, people may release birds or other animals as a way of "show[ing] compassion" to other "living beings."1

  1. Cuong Tu Nguyen and A.W. Barber, “Vietnamese Buddhism in North America: Tradition and Acculturation,” in The Faces of Buddhism in North America, ed. Charles Prebish and Kenneth Tanaka (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 136.

In relation to their understanding of Buddhism, many temple attendees discussed a commitment to helping others. Tri explained that, through his practice of Buddhism, he has learned not just to think of himself but to think of the ways he can help other people. “All you have to do is be kind to others,” affirmed Lam.

Quy said that she also implements this philosophy in her daily life. Though she went to law school in the United States and received her JD, she decided not to practice law professionally. “Because I’m a Buddhist, I didn’t want to do trial law for many reasons,” she said. Instead, she worked as the state’s refugee coordinator, a job that allowed her to help people in need. “That is the main principle of Buddhism,” explained Quy, expressing satisfaction that she was able to fulfill this aim through her job.

"All you have to do is be kind to others."-Lam