Dalai Lama on altruistic goals

Dalai Lama on altruistic goals

We are industrially and technically advanced, educated and literate; yet we continue to suffer restlessness, discontent, and feelings of anxiety.

We are surrounded by living masters, but we lack joy. We cannot keep leaning on others to solve our problems. We ourselves must change if our world is going to change.

His Holiness notes, "We can only conclude that there must be something seriously wrong with our progress and development, and if we do not check it in time, there could be disastrous consequences for the future of humanity. I am not at all against science and technology - they have contributed immensely to the overall experience of humankind, to our material comfort and well-being and to our greater understanding of the world we live in. But if we give too much emphasis to science and technology, we are in danger of losing touch with those aspects of human knowledge and understanding that aspire towards honesty and altruism."

I too notice how obsessed with money and material possessions the many people who acquire some wealth remain. Only a handful are eager to share that wealth with the sick and the suffering. Instead of investing in helping society, they invest and re-invest in fulfilling their own desires, in my opinion. What specifically might we do? Will it open the hearts of the stingy so that they can flourish by loving and serving others? The Embodiment of Compassion explains, "In order to bring about this great adjustment, we need to revive our humanitarian values."

How, I wonder, may we help revive human values, or even introduce them to those who have no interest? Maybe we need to be more public in our spiritual practice, more outspoken. We don't have to be political or well known to do world-changing volunteer work. We only need to love deeply.

Tenzin Gyatso, 14th incarnation of the Dalai Lama says, "We must remember that the different religions, ideologies, and political systems of the world are meant for human beings to achieve happiness. We must not lose sight of this fundamental goal and at no time should we place means above ends; the supremacy of humanity over matter and ideology must always be maintained." Nature offers opportunities to serve. Notice how much need there is in your own neighbourhood - from those without homes, to neglected children and elders, to stray animals.

"Whether they belong to more evolved species like humans or to simpler ones such as animals, all beings primarily seek peace, comfort, and security," the Great Bodhisattwa says. "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."

We have the teachings; we have the practice; now it's time to share with others how we learned to be happy.