Dharamshala: Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness The Dalai Lama wrote an op-ed in New York Times on Friday, 1 December 2017. In the article titled ‘Future is very much in our hands’, His Holiness begins with a crucial message that when it comes to making the world a better place, concern for others is tantamount and human beings are, by nature, empowered with innate qualities to lead a fulfilling life.
‘We are facing a time of great uncertainty and upheaval in many corners of our planet. When it comes to making the world a better place, concern for others is tantamount.’ Read the full Op-Ed here.
His Holiness says he is convinced that we can become happier individuals, happier communities and a happier humanity if we cultivated a warm heart and allowed our better selves to prevail.
‘Humanity is rich in the diversity that naturally arose from the wide expanse of our world, from the variety of languages and ways of writing to our different societal norms and customs. However, when we overemphasize race, nationality, faith, or income or education level, we forget our many similarities. We want a roof over our heads and food in our bellies, to feel safe and secure, and for our children to grow and be strong. As we seek to preserve our own culture and identity, we must also remember that we are one in being human, and work to maintain our warmheartedness toward all.’
He points out that cultivating loving-kindness by thinking about the oneness of all the world’s 7 billion humans is one of the most effective remedies for dealing with such destructive patterns of thought.
Hitting a high note on hope, His Holiness says that there is time for us to create a better, happier world and if we commit to living our lives meaningfully and in service to our fellow human beings — helping others whenever we can and making every effort to do them no harm, we can herald a happier world.
‘For those who feel helpless in the face of insurmountable suffering, we are still in the early years of the 21st century. There is time for us to create a better, happier world, but we can’t sit back and expect a miracle.’
The 82-year-old Buddhist leader cites a scientific finding that proved basic human nature to be more compassionate. He says that empathy is hard-wired in our genes and therefore, we are greatly empowered with the qualities that takes to create a healthy and fulfilling life.
‘Our future is very much in our hands. Within each of us exists the potential to contribute positively to society. Although one individual among so many on this planet may seem too insignificant to have much of an effect on the course of humanity, it is our personal efforts that will determine the direction our society is heading.’