One of my neighbours in my hometown in Japan is a famous Buddhist monk who has even published a book about teachings of Buddhism.
I’m not a Buddhist myself nor religious but had chances to hear interesting stories from him.
One evening in the summer of 2016, just a couple days before I left Japan for Finland for my master’s degree, he invited me to dinner at a local restaurant.
It was a farewell dinner he planned for me and he told me following teachings of Buddhism that have been descended for a long time.
According to him, that is a set of seven actions with which you can make people happy without spending any money.
Even though some of these below might not really work or might even sound a bit weird in some cultures, some of the teachings below have been helping me socialise myself into Finnish culture.
Seven actions :
1. Deal with people with kind eyes
2. Be genial and show your smile
3. Use gentle words
4. Help others physically
5. Be mindful and sympathetic
6. Offer a seat to others
7. Offer your house/room
As you can see, most of them are pretty simple and easily doable.
For example, you can do 1, 2, 3 and 5 in almost all situations.
4 and 6 can be done on a daily basis too, such as helping elderly people or offering a seat to others in a train.
I wouldn’t offer my room to strangers or someone I don’t really know but I could to my close friends.
I think life can be simple. No need to stress about making this world better in a big scale.
The important thing is that you do what you can do. If someone does something nice to you, you can also do nice stuff to some other people. Let’s pay it forward.
Some people might think that this sounds cheesy, but at least keeping these simple stuff in my mind has helped me develop comfortable friendships/interpersonal relationships with people I got to know in Finland.