Understanding impermanence can give us confidence, peace, and joy. Impermanence does not necessarily lead to suffering. Without impermanence, life could not be. Without impermanence, your daughter could not grow up into a beautiful young lady. Without impermanence, oppressive political regimes would never change. We think impermanence makes us suffer. The Buddha gave the example of a dog that was hit by a stone and got angry at the stone. It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not.—Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching (Parallax, 1998), 123
Yesterday’s election in the United States is but another example of impermanence and thank God for that. Impermanence surrounds us. It is a universal truth. I think the principle of impermanence is embodied in the Serenity Prayer.
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
buddha, impermanence, serenity prayer