Lama on world change

Terry Reis Kennedy, Aug 12, 2012 :

Government workers who take bribes, doctors who perform illegal procedures, and religious leaders who commit the very sins they urge us not to commit— we need to take a moral inventory of ourselves, perhaps.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama says, “I question the popular assumption that religion and ethics have no place in politics and that religious persons should seclude themselves as hermits. Such a view of religion is too one-sided; it lacks a proper perspective on the individual’s relation to society and the role of religion in our lives.

“Ethics is as crucial to a politician as it is to a religious practitioner. Dangerous consequences will follow when politicians and rulers forget moral principles. Whether we believe in God or karma, ethics is the foundation of every religion,” added His Holiness.

Some unethical behavior is easily observed among us: Children growing up in homes where money is worshiped, parents left abandoned in their old age, as well as professionals who lie and cheat. But immoral behavior hidden from our eyes still erodes society.

Dalai Lama, who is the Embodiment of Compassion explains, “Such human qualities as morality, compassion, decency, wisdom, and so forth have been the foundations of all civilizations. These qualities must be cultivated and sustained through systematic moral education in a conducive social environment so that a more humane world may emerge.

He explains that the qualities required to create such a world must be inculcated right from the beginning, from childhood. “We cannot wait for the next generation to make this change; the present generation must attempt a renewal of basic human values.”

Some people are doing this; others have done it for years. Perhaps now we should act with revolutionary zeal.

The revered lama teaches, “If there is any hope, it is in the future generations, but not unless we institute major change on a worldwide scale in our present educational system. We need a revolution in our commitment to and practice of universal humanitarian values. It is not enough to make noisy calls to halt moral degeneration; we must do something about it.”

A revolution is a process that begins with a sort of perception. Old notions die with time and we take radical action. In this case we start to practise human values consistently.

Human beings transmute their selfish desires to acts that benefit others. Love, right action, peace, non-violence, truth…. If we embody these qualities, we can share them with others freely and willingly.

We might start to value people places and things in the light of how they help others. If a shop owner, for example, does not treat his emplolyees fairly and pays them a pittance, do we really want his karma, his wrong action? No. We shop elsewhere.

His Holiness also says, “Since present-day governments do not shoulder any such ‘religious’ responsibilities, humanitarian and religious leaders must strengthen the existing civic, social, cultural, educational, and religious organizations to revive human and spiritual values. Wherever necessary, we must create new and better values.

Wherever necessary, we must create new organisations that will help us achieve these goals.

“Only in so doing can we hope to create a more stable basis for world peace,” His Holiness explains.

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