Talking About Our Inner Environment

I always think it is very important to consider oneself as one human being or one member of a big human family. Because every human is basically the same irrespective of culture, religion, country or race. It means everyone has the right to be a happy person and the right to overcome suffering. After all, the purpose of our very life, I consider, is happiness. This is our birthright.

Then, because of the changing situation today, the realisation of oneness of all human beings is now very relevant. In ancient times, if you had that kind of perspective, good. If not, it did not matter. But now, today, in reality, whether we like it or not, every crisis is essentially linked to a global crisis. So talking about my nation, my continent, my family, my religion, my tradition is out of date. Therefore, there is really an urgent need to have a sense of Universal Responsibility and change of our Inner Environment.

This I consider to be the basic foundation of our positive motivation. The prime mover of every human action is the motivation or the determination.

Firstly, our motivation should be simple and sincere. Whether we achieve the goal or not does not matter so long as our motivation is very sincere and we make an attempt. Finally, even if we fail to achieve our goal we won’t regret making the effort. If our motivation is not sincere, even if the objective is achieved, the person will not be so happy or satisfied deep down. So motivation is very important.

Any human action, whether the result is positive or negative, largely depends on motivation. If the motivation is sincere then every human. action can be positive – including political initiatives. If our motivation is not adequate, not pure, even religion becomes smeared.

Therefore, things ultimately depend upon proper motivation. I consider the important thing is unshakable determination based upon a genuine sense of brotherhood and sisterhood, or a sense of Universal Responsibility based upon human compassion or affection. That is the proper mental approach. Our goal may not be achieved so easily this way – it may take more time and may face many obstacles. I think right from the beginning, we must adopt that kind of attitude. If one expects to achieve the goal because our motivation is good, our work will be easy, and everyone will come to help, that is not right attitude.

The world, unfortunately, is not pure; there are lots of negative forces. For years I have been telling my fellow Tibetans that we should hope for the best but at the same time prepare with optimism for the worst.

An optimistic attitude is the key factor for success. Right from the beginning, if you hold a pessimistic attitude, even small things may not be achieved. Therefore, to remain optimistic all the time is very important.

As I mentioned earlier, many forms of human activity like religion, politics, technology, science and law, are supposedly meant for the betterment and happiness of humanity. Because of past experience many people feel that politics is something dirty. That is also a wrong concept. In a democratic country practicing democracy effectively, whether we like it or not, political parties must be there. Under such circumstances, if you remain removed from politics, just to criticise or complain or resent, that is not a wise way.

For example, in the field of religion there is also abuse. In the name of humanity, and also in the name of religion, some exploitations and abuses are there. How can you change that just sitting on the sideline? If you only criticise, there won’t be much effect. Go into it and try to change things from within. That is the way.

I want to praise the NGOs a little. Basically, every human individual carries responsibility for the benefit or welfare of humanity and for the planet itself, because this planet is our only home. We have no alternative refuge. Therefore, everyone has the responsibility to care not only for our fellow human beings but also for insects, plants, animals and this very planet.

However, the initiative must come from individuals. But then, in order to make an impact, the unified mobilisation of individual forces through various organizations is the only path. So various organizations become very important. I think at government level action is sometimes not true to desires. This is due to certain policies or reasons and sometimes due to elected leaders being concerned about their re-election.

NGOs have more freedom and opportunity, so in many fields you can do many more and also you can create certain new ideas, new activities and act as a pilot. If this becomes something significant, then the government will also follow your lead. Already some cases of this type have happened. Therefore NGOs have a unique opportunity to contribute. Already you have contributed many things for humanity and planet and I hope you can continue your good work with full cooperation, confidence and determination.

Now, already the East-West division is there, mainly in economic terms. The richer nations, sooner or later, will find some problems because of this gap. So we have to find ways and means to reduce this gap. In this field both sides should have genuine discussion in the spirit of our world, rather than my nation or my continent. This is to the mutual interest of our mutual future. If one side adopts a defensive attitude, or another side seeks only to complain and criticise, that is not good. Come together and think in terms of one world. Both sides belong to that same world. With this attitude you can achieve many things.

Another thing while we are talking about the gap between richer and poorer nations: there is no point in neglecting one’s own community. Among nations there is a big gap between rich and poor people, like India and Brazil. So a terribly pathetic situation is there. Practically, these are dangerous and critical situations.

This is the first of a two-part article.

Filed under: The Dalai Lama

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