Dalai Lama on harmful people

It is really surprising when I find out that someone wants to harm me, or is making efforts to spoil my name.

 Often, I don’t even know these individuals.  However, a while back, I discovered the name of someone in England who was out to defame a particular worldwide organisation. Because I am affiliated with this group, I got bashed as well.

His Holiness points out, “It can happen that sometimes another person will engage in an action with a general type of attitude that could be injurious, but without specifically identifying you as a target. And so, as this person is carrying through with the action, you may be injured as a bystander. In that respect, one would say that the person does have an intention to harm.”

But more often than not people do harm to us by gossip, for instance, or by judging us based on assumptions that simply are not true. They present facts that don’t necessarily add up to the truth. Working in a highly competitive environment and doing well may incur the wrath and revenge of jealous co-workers.

What is the best way to respond? The Embodiment of Compassion urges us to analyse the situation. He says, “When a person harms you out of his own limitations, you simply have to say, ‘It is not this person’s fault; he simply wasn’t able to do any better.’ Some people get so angry with themselves that they beat themselves on the head! There’s not much reason to get angry. It’s not a very reasonable state of mind. It can be a real headache. 

Taking a wider perspective, you can see that the other individual is also a living creature, and you have the awareness that all living creatures are the same in wanting to be happy and avoid suffering. That realisation can help you develop compassion.”

In our beginning studies, this may seem a fruitless way of dealing with harmful individuals. However, the 14th Dalai Lama suggests, “There is an increasing awareness of the importance of compassion.

More and more people are looking at their actions in light of the effect on the future generations.  More and more people are growing tired of the wars being fought for no reason that benefits common human beings. We can see for ourselves the practical benefits of compassion, in terms of bringing about more contentment, serenity, and well being.”

When I first came in contact with the transformational teachings of the Peace Keeper, I didn’t know that I would become so interested in the present King of Tibet who was displaced by the Chinese invasion of his country. But now, my sympathies are with him and with the people of Tibet. It is my dream that one day the Chinese-occupied Tibet will be free again.

Happily, along with millions of others, I follow the advice of Kundun: “It is very important to try to spread this awareness through the media and education.”

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