Translations can be difficult, and they matter. Way back in college, I took an introductory course on Buddhism, and had to memorize the list of paramitas – qualities of virtue – for a quiz. One quality, virya paramita, was translated simply as “effort or diligence.” I assumed I knew all about effort and diligence – in fact, was I not doing just that in studying for the quiz?
Years later, I had the chance to hear a more expansive description of virya paramita, which some teachers describe as “wholehearted diligence” or “joyful effort.” More than an A on a quiz.
This past week, I was able to take my first real business trip in many months, which was arduous and awesome. I was reminded how much I love learning about organizations, how wonderful it is to meet people who are excited about their work, how satisfying it is to match qualitative inputs with quantitative outputs, how illuminating it is to see how our world is shaped by all sorts of people and skills and ideas.
I am pretty sure that the paramitas were not formed with equity research in mind, but that’s kind of the point – any experience we have is a chance to practice. This week gave me a valuable reminder about virya paramita, a little glimmer of what “joyful effort” might feel like.
Dear ones, life is full of effort.
May ours be joyful.
If you are planning ahead for holiday gifts (maybe a good idea, with global supply chains in disarray), we hope you might consider Month of Sundays, which can be found at all of your favorite booksellers. One friend recently mentioned that she’s bought a stack of books to gift as she begins to reconnect with loved ones who have been apart, as a way to say, “welcome back.”
Thank you to those who have supported this endeavor to date, where proceeds have allowed us to give more generously than usual to some of the most vital nonprofits around. We designed the book to be evergreen, and hope it will bring comfort and connection through times of ease and times of challenge alike.