Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Dalai Lama - A Policy of Kindness

From Snow Lion Publications:
Dalai Lama Quote of the Week

Compassion and love are not man-made. Ideology is man-made, but compassion and love are produced by nature. It is important to recognize natural qualities, especially when we face a problem and fail to find a solution. For example...in religious business, sometimes even due to religion, we create a problem. If we try to solve that problem using religious methods, it is quite certain that we will not succeed. So I feel that when we face those kinds of problems, it is important to return to our basic human quality. Then I think we will find that solutions come easier. Therefore, I usually say that the best way to solve human problems is with human understanding.

It is very important to recognize the basic nature of humanity and the value of human qualities. Whether one is educated or uneducated, rich or poor, or belongs to this nation or that nation, this religion or that religion, this ideology or that ideology, is secondary and doesn't matter. When we return to this basis, all people are the same. Then we can truly say the words brother, sister; then they are not just nice words--they have some meaning. That kind of motivation automatically builds the practice of kindness. This gives us inner strength.

...Next, let us talk about the human being as a social animal. Even if we do not like other people, we have to live together. Natural law is such that even bees and other animals have to live together in cooperation. I am attracted to bees because I like honey--it is really delicious. Their product is something that we cannot produce, very beautiful, isn't it? I exploit them too much, I think. Even these insects have certain responsibilities, they work together very nicely. They have no constitution, they have no law, no police, nothing, but they work together effectively. This is because of nature. Similarly, each part of a flower is not arranged by humans but by nature. The force of nature is something remarkable. We human beings, we have constitutions, we have law, we have a police force, we have religion, we have many things. But in actual practice, I think that we are behind those small insects.

Sometimes civilization brings good progress, but we become too involved with this progress and neglect or forget about our basic nature. Every development in human society should take place on the basis of the foundation of the human nature. If we lose that basic foundation, there is no point in such developments taking place.

~ From The Dalai Lama, A Policy of Kindness: An Anthology of Writings By and About the Dalai Lama compiled and edited by Sidney Piburn, Foreword by Sen. Claiborne Pell, published by Snow Lion Publications

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