Us human beings. We all want the same thing. We are all so much more alike than not.
I try to remember this daily when I am unhappy with anyone in my life, friend or foe.
During a lecture while I was interpreting for the Dalai Lama, he said in what seemed to me to be broken English, “Kindness is society.” I wasn’t smart enough to think he was saying kindness is society. I thought he meant kindness is important to society; kindness is vital to society; but he was saying that kindness is so important that we cannot have society without it. Society is impossible without it. Thus, kindness IS society; society IS kindness. Without concern for other people it’s impossible to have society.
The Dalai Lama is fond of saying that he feels he knows each individual just like his own brothers and sisters – even though, on lecture tours, he’s of a different religion, was brought up in a different part of the world, speaks a different language, and wears different clothes.
Actually, we all know each other quite well. We all want happiness and do not want suffering. It seems to be a platitude, not worth saying. But it is worth saying and contemplating, because we don’t remain in constant recognition that just as I want happiness and don’t want suffering, so you want happiness and don’t want suffering. Rather, we might think: “Oh yeah, I want happiness and don’t want suffering, and yes, these people want happiness and don’t want suffering.” But then our next thought is, “How can you serve me?”
My usual habits draw me into thinking, “How can you serve my quest for pleasure and my quest to get rid of pain?” However, if I remembered that I want happiness and don’t want suffering and that you equally have the same aspiration, I could not possibly ask you to serve me. read the rest