When I am feeling discouraged about the world – whether it’s just having a blah day, hearing a sad story from a refugee client, learning that a student can’t watch a movie with a rape scene because it would bring her own sexual assault too close to home, turning on the TV only to be assaulted with hateful campaigning during the election season, or just freaking out about my life as a young professional trying to make my way in this post-recession world, I look to the Dalai Lama for guidance. I wanted to share two of my favorite quotes by him, and I hope this brings a smile to your lunch hour 🙂
“At the end of the talk someone from the audience asked the Dalai Lama “Why didn’t you fight back against the Chinese?”
The Dalai Lama looked down, swung his feet just a bit, then looked back up at us and said with a gentle smile, “Well, war is obsolete, you know.”
Then, after a few moments, his face grave, he said, “Of course the mind can rationalize fighting back… but the heart, the heart would never understand. Then you would be divided in yourself, the heart and the mind, and the war would be inside you.”
Amazing. Here’s another one of my faves, one that I keep in my daily consciousness, one that encourages me when I have a student who asks me what’s the point of fighting for a better world when the world is already so screwed up, when we’re all so disconnected, when the 1% controls everything. So many people expect change to happen overnight, and underestimate the value of their individual actions.
“Each of us has been born into this world, and each of us has been provided with a way to help others. A kind attitude of concern for those in our respective field of activity will affect them, even if it is just ten people, bringing them more comfort and less strife. If each of them, in turn, treats their associates in a similar way, then even though the effect will be gradual, it will in time be transformative. This is how we can change the world.”