Ajahn Brahm – Light a Candle

Ajahn Brahm asks why we are all so inclined to exaggerate the negative in our lives, and urges us to instead replace morosity with positive action.


I get a lot of my wisdom from cartoons. If you want to know philosophy just go and look at cartoons. You get a much better understanding of what’s going on in the world and also about philosophy from cartoons. This was a Peanuts cartoon. There was Charlie Brown and his dog, Snoopy. Charlie Brown, sort of, you know, becoming a bit philosophical, he says, ‘You know, one day we will all die.’ It’s true, isn’t it? But it’s so negative. ‘One day we will all die,’ says Charlie Brown, and Snoopy said, ‘Most days we will all not die.’ That’s true, isn’t it? How many days have you got in your life? 365 times 70, someone can do that calculation on your little iPhone for me if you wish. So many days in our life.

You know, most of those days you don’t die. It’s only one of those days you die. You understand? That is negativity. Why are people just so inclining towards negativity? And why is it such a hard thing to accept that these negative things probably will never happen? That most people do not get cancer? Always light a candle rather than complain about darkness. That’s one of my guiding principles in life. Don’t complain about darkness, light a candle. If something’s black in the future? Light something. Make it more hopeful, more positive.”