Abandon what is unwholesome, oh monks!
One can abandon the unwholesome, oh monks!
If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do so.
If this abandoning of the unwholesome would bring harm and suffering,
I would not ask you to abandon it.
But as the abandoning of the unwholesome brings benefit and happiness,
Therefore, I say, 'Abandon what is unwholesome!'
Cultivate what is wholesome, oh monks.
One can cultivate the wholesome.
If it were not feasible, I would not ask you to do it.
If this cultivation of the wholesome would bring harm and suffering,
I would not ask you to cultivate it.
But as the cultivation of the wholesome brings benefit and happiness,
Therefore, I say, 'Cultivate what is wholesome!'
This is one of my favorite passages for many reasons. It beautifully exemplifies the extraordinary compassion of the Buddha. The mind of the Buddha sees only suffering and the end of suffering, and exhorts those heading toward suffering to take care, to pay attention, rather than condemning them. He sees those heading towards the end of suffering and rejoices for them.
It also inspires a feeling of self-confidence within one -- it can be done... I can do it. Many times if I find difficulty in the teaching, when I am very honest about it, it is because I fear I am not capable of actualizing it. When I feel confidence in myself, my love for the teachings grows exponentially.
When I first went to Sayadaw U Pandita for metta instructions he asked me if I thought I was going to be successful at it and I thought, "He's looking for conceit." I replied, "Well, I don't know whether I'll be successful or not." He then shook his head dolefully, and said: "You must always approach things with the attitude that you can be successful. This is what the Buddha taught."