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Our visit to this planet is short, so we should use our time meaningfully, which we can do by helping others wherever possible. And if we cannot help others, at least we should try not to create pain and suffering for them.
True compassion isn’t just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, our compassion for others doesn’t change even if they behave negatively. Our sense of responsibility for others gives rise to a wish to help them actively overcome their problems.
Modern education is premised strongly on materialistic values. It is vital that when educating our children’s brains that we do not neglect to educate their hearts, a key element of which has to be the nurturing of our compassionate nature.
If love is defined as a wish that others be happy and compassion as the wish that they be free from suffering, and you cultivate love and compassion within yourself, it will ensure happiness, good health and peace of mind.
All things originate in the mind. Actions and events depend heavily on motivation. Appreciation of humanity, compassion and love are key points. If we develop a good heart, whether our field is science, agriculture or politics, since motivation is so crucial, they’ll all improve.
When you care for others, you manifest an inner strength despite any difficulties you face. Your own problems will seem less significant and bothersome to you. Reaching beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain confidence, courage and a greater sense of calm.
Negative thoughts and emotions undermine the very causes of peace and happiness. In fact, when we think properly, it is totally illogical to seek happiness if we do nothing to restrain angry, spiteful, and malicious thoughts and emotions.
It’s good to remember that other human beings are like us. We are born the same way; we die the same way. While we’re alive it’s better to be able to trust each other as friends. We earn other people’s trust when we show a genuine concern for their well-being.
Love, kindness, compassion and tolerance are qualities common to all the great religions, and whether or not we follow any particular religious tradition, the benefits of love and kindness are obvious to anyone.
For some people the idea of compassion entails a complete disregard for or even a sacrifice of their own interests. This is not the case. In fact, we first of all have to have a wish to be happy ourselves – if we don’t love ourselves like that, how can we love others?
"Climate change is not the concern of just one or two nations. It is an issue that affects the whole of humanity and every living being on this earth." (From HHDL's Message to Delegates to the COP24 UN Climate Conference bit.ly/2SvGHOy)
His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Message to Delegates to the COP24 UN | The 14th Dalai Lama
Everybody appreciates kindness, but unfortunately our modern education system, with its materialistic goals, doesn’t have much room for inner values. We need to make people more aware of such inner values on the basis of scientific findings, common sense and common experience.
Even more important than the warmth and affection we receive, is the warmth and affection we give. It is by giving warmth and affection, by having a genuine sense of concern for others, in other words through compassion, that we gain the conditions for genuine happiness.
Human beings are social animals. What brings us together is love and affection—anger drives us apart. Just as we employ physical hygiene to protect our health, we need emotional hygiene, the means to tackle our destructive emotions, if we are to achieve peace of mind.
We all want to live a happy life, so we have to learn to live together in trust and mutual respect. We do have differences of race, nationality, religious faith and so on, but these differences are secondary in comparison to our equality in being human.
Anger can be reduced if we work to cultivate love and affection. However, we first have to come to terms with whatever benefits or disadvantages anger may bring. Primarily, anger destroys our peace of mind; loving-kindness earns us friends and eliminates the risk of being alone.
Be honest, truthful, and altruistic. If you concern yourself with taking care of others, there’ll be no room for lies, bullying and cheating. If you’re truthful you can live transparently, which will enable you to establish trust, the basis for making friends.
We need to be determined to achieve positive change, and also be able to take a long view of what needs to be done. What is important is not to become demoralized. Optimism leads to success; pessimism leads to defeat. One person can be the source of inspiration for many others.
Anger and aggression sometimes seem to be protective because they bring energy to bear on a particular situation, but what needs to be acknowledged is that that energy is blind. It takes a calm mind to be able to consider things from different angles and points of view.
I don’t think of myself just as a Tibetan or a Buddhist, but as a human being. We have to think of the whole of humanity. Being human is the common ground in our efforts to create a better world. Remember, we all survive in dependence on others.
Because motivation pervades all action, it is important that we have a positive motivation. Whatever we are involved in, whether it's politics, education, medicine, law, engineering, science, business or industry, the nature of our motivation determines the character of our work.
As social animals we need friends, but we make friends on the basis of trust, which comes about as a result of affection and concern for others. You can’t buy trust or acquire it by use of force. Its source is warm-heartedness.
Kindness and a good heart are the foundation for success in this life, progress on the spiritual path, and the fulfillment of our aspirations. Our need for them is not limited to any specific time, place, society, or culture.
Anger and fear undermine our immune system, while warm-heartedness brings peace of mind. Therefore, just as we teach children to comply with physical hygiene for the good of their health, we should also counsel them in a kind of hygiene of the emotions.
In our quest for happiness and the avoidance of suffering, we are all fundamentally the same, and therefore equal. Despite all the characteristics that differentiate us - race, language, religion, gender, wealth and many others - we are all equal in terms of our basic humanity.
We seek happiness in external things without realizing that they don’t help when we have problems within. We need to focus instead on the joy that comes with peace of mind that allows us to remain happy whatever happens.
For many people, the only tangible value is money. And of course money has its place, but the value of cultivating a compassionate attitude is much more effective. When we only pay attention to material values, there’s little room for concern for others, or for mutual regard.
Leaving aside the perspective of spiritual practice, even in worldly terms, in terms of our enjoying a happy day-to-day existence, the calmer our minds are, the greater our peace of mind will be and the greater will be our ability to enjoy a happy and joyful life.
In the present circumstances, no one can afford to assume that someone else will solve their problems. Each one of us has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged.
In our modern society everything seems geared to material development, even our systems of education. As a result we no longer pay sufficient attention to our inner values, which leads to mental unrest. In order to address this imbalance we need to pay more attention to our minds
If we were really to see one another as brothers and sisters, there would be no basis for division, cheating and exploitation among us. Therefore it’s important to promote the idea of the oneness of humanity, that in being human we are all the same.
The first of my personal commitments is to work to increase human happiness by encouraging the cultivation of inner values and a sense of concern for others’ well being. These are the key factors whether one is a religious person or not.
Since we desire the true happiness that is brought about by a calm mind, and such peace of mind arises only from having a compassionate attitude, we need to make a concerted effort to develop compassion.
As a human being I’m aware that we are all physically, mentally and emotionally the same and we all want to live a happy life. Scientists say our basic nature is compassionate. It’s clear that love and affection bring people together.
Irrespective of whether we have faith in religion or not, it’s good to be more compassionate. It makes us happier as individuals with a positive influence on our families and the neighborhood where we live.
I am one of the 7 billion human beings alive today. We each have a responsibility to think about humanity and the good of the world because it affects our own future. We weren’t born on this planet at this time to create problems but to bring about some benefit.
We can achieve peace of mind if we tackle our destructive emotions, so the goal of making the 21st century an era of peace and compassion is feasible. It will involve finding solutions to problems in dialogue, not the use of force.
We may say prayers when we are trying to solve the problems we face, but it is up to us to put an end to violence and bring about peace. Creating peace is our responsibility. To pray for peace while still engaging in the causes that give rise to violence is contradictory.
Making others happy is not a question of sacrificing our own happiness. Trying to make others happy, even when we do not always succeed, is a source of great satisfaction. Anger and hatred are signs of weakness, while compassion is a sure sign of strength.