Dalai Lama on solving problems

When something catastrophic happens, people join together to help one another. Otherwise, we often squabble over trivialities.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, “Of the many problems we face today, some are natural calamities and must be accepted and faced with equanimity.  Others, however, are of our own making, created by misunderstanding, and can be corrected.  One such type arises from the conflict of ideologies, political or religious, when people fight each other for petty ends, losing sight of the basic humanity that binds us all together as a single family.”

Why do I get upset with my fellows when their views differ drastically from mine?

 Recently a friend told me that he does not believe the Jewish Holocaust ever took place.  He said that it was an invention of the media and not an actual historical fact.   Having known about ancestors who perished at Auschwitz, having visited that death camp myself and having written about it extensively, I became furious. But my anger only alienated him and he insisted I imagined that what I saw was true.  

The Embodiment of Compassion teaches, “Whether they belong to more evolved species like humans or to simpler ones such as animals, all beings primarily seek peace, comfort, and security.  Life is as dear to the mute animal as it is to any human being; even the simplest insect strives for protection from dangers that threaten its life.  Just as each one of us wants to live and does not wish to die, so it is with all other creatures in the universe, though their power to affect this is a different matter.”

If my friend had just slapped me, I might have forgotten it by now.  But I follow my mind back to his disbelief and rekindle the hurt. 

Tenzin Gyatso who was born into a poor family on July 6, 1935, points out, “Broadly speaking there are two types of happiness and suffering, mental and physical, and of the two, I believe that mental suffering and happiness are the more acute.  

Hence, I stress the training of the mind to endure suffering and attain a more lasting state of happiness. However, I also have a more general and concrete idea of happiness: a combination of inner peace, economic development, and above all, world peace.  To achieve such goals I feel it is necessary to develop a sense of universal responsibility, a deep concern for all irrespective of creed, color, sex, or nationality.”

According to His Holiness, “We are facing problems because people are concentrating only on their short-term, selfish interests, not thinking of the entire human family.  They are not thinking of the earth and the long-term effects on universal life as a whole.”

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