“One moment can change a day, one day can change a life, and one life can change the world.”

A website that linked to me took one of the genuine scriptural quotations on this site and presented it in a misleading way. It then went on to say:

Another quote from the Buddha, that I don’t believe is in dispute, is, “One moment can change a day, one day can change a life, and one life can change the world.”

Of course there is no dispute about whether this is from the Buddha, because it definitely isn’t! This isn’t the kind of thing that you’ll find in the early scriptures.

I’m not entirely sure of its origins. The first mention of it I’ve found is from 2010, where it’s paired with an image of the Buddha, but isn’t presented as being something he said. The context is an ad for the PBS special on the Buddha, which gave us the Fake Buddha Quote “In order to gain anything you must lose everything.

I don’t know whether the PBS advertising team thought that this was a quote from the Buddha—perhaps taken from the internet—or whether they just created the saying as a tag line.

The ad was in “This Old House Magazine” for April 2010. Interestingly, the Buddha did say something in the Dhammapada that was on the theme of old houses:

153. Through many a birth in samsara have I wandered in vain, seeking the builder of this house. Repeated birth is indeed suffering!

154. O house-builder, you are seen! You will not build this house again. For your rafters are broken and your ridgepole shattered. My mind has reached the Unconditioned; I have attained the destruction of craving.

12 thoughts on ““One moment can change a day, one day can change a life, and one life can change the world.””

  1. Thanks for catching this. I corrected my reference and added a footnote to your page. Greatly appreciated.

  2. Of course nonbelievers only think things are fake. What is fake . The Bible itself is fake because it is man-made. Slandering the truth. But, your words are spurred by hatred. I feel sorry for you

      1. Those who pointed out the fake teaching usually get fired from the ignorants, this is very common. You had done your duty, I salute!

      2. I also see your posts. But like you said yourself you can’t really know what the Buddha have said. Also not in books or scripts bc they have been made later. People can twist things or things got lost later bc mostly it was talked about from one person to another. So who said the quotes and stories are true or not. The same goes for the bible or the Qur’an or any other “religion” books or quotes. You can’t really know if they or fake or not.

        1. I’ve pointed out many times on this blog that we can’t know for sure what the Buddha said. All we have are scriptural accounts, most of them probably based on things he actually said (some small quantity perhaps verbatim, the rest more like half-decent lecture notes) and some no doubt made up by later followers. But those scriptures are the only place where we can find things the Buddha might have said. If something doesn’t appear there, but instead appears a couple of millennia later then there’s no justification whatsoever for claiming it as a quote from the Buddha.

    1. Thanks for the quote, although I always prefer to see a reference to an actual sutta. This one sounds a bit off to me. Doesn’t it strike you as possibly being fake?

      1. No this isn’t fake. But you should be more open minded about things. In life. A person who has a black heart doesn’t see what is true or what is not true. Because in their hearts they only see the negative things in life.

        1. What evidence do you have that I have a “black heart” and that I “only see the negative”?

          And what sutta does that quote come from?

  3. I don’t see where a strive to have accuracy is spurred by hatred. Keep up the good work Bodhipaksa! The quote, even if falsely attributed, is good. The real works of the Buddha, also good.

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