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A Thousand Miles Begins With a First step : Wishes 

-Coralie Marie Francoise Maurel Santini, from France

According to the Oxford dictionary, a wish is a hope or desire for something. Therefore, wishes can be whatever anyone wants them to be. Each person in this world surely has a wish that they want to achieve in their life. That is normal. Wishing to have something can be described in many ways. For example, we want to have the latest gadget, new job or a big house at a peaceful place. Same goes with me. I have something I wish to have or achieve too. Like the saying, `A thousand miles begins with a first step`. This first step could start from a mindful wish. 

Some cultures have customs in which people are encourages to `make a wish` such as blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, seeing a shooting star at night, tossing a coin into a wishing well or fountain. Many believe such things can only come true if they are kept secret from other people. Others believe that they come true only if they are told to someone. Others view wish fulfillment as a bad self-delusion. There is an old saying `Be careful what you wish for` because we do not realize that they might also come with negative outcomes. Since anything could happen, whenever we start to hope for something, we should stop, think a minute and make sure if it is what our heart truly desires. 

From a Buddhist perspective, Gyalwa Rinpoche said that although there is nothing wrong with `worldly` aspirations that brings worldly happiness, when we reflect on it, we might understand that all these examples by their very nature, are temporary. As a Buddhist practitioner, we should try to commit ourselves to cultivate altruistic and compassionate thoughts, make a wish to free all sentient beings from samsara or the aspiration to attain enlightenment in order to free all sentient beings. This is called the Bodhisattva attitude. 

Therefore, whatever wishes we make, a worldly one or more mindful one, our teachers always remind us that it is important not to criticize but to somehow focus on the fact that if we wish for happiness, then it always makes sense to generate a greater heart. For those who have no idea what a meaningful aspiration is or how to make one, as Buddhist practitioners our teachers keep reminding us to simply follow in their footsteps. For example, with the recent event that are affecting our world, all the great masters asked us to join them in their aspirations, that we all find a way to use this moment to respond with loving-kindness, to stand up with hope in our hearts, and remember that we all are also capable of great courage and compassion. 

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