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Do not seek the measure of your actions’ worth

in the eyes of others.

Seek it within yourself.

A long time ago, when the Buddha was in our world, an old woman wished to make an offering to the perfectly enlightened being. But all she had were two coins from her day’s begging. Undeterred, she used them to buy some oil for a lamp. Setting out her offering, she vowed to eliminate the suffering of all beings. After leaving the lamp, exhausted and starving she died. The same night, the king also offered lamps, row upon row of them. The next day, amazingly, not only was one of the lamps still burning, its flame shone even more brightly. When asked how this could be, the Buddha said the lamp was the old woman’s. It continued to burn due to her compassionate vow. The woman had not needed to ask if her meager offering was worthy; she did what she knew to be right. Her gratitude was immeasurable, her own needs inconsequential, her vow unwavering.

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