Given the scale of life in the cosmos, one human life is no more than a tiny blip. Each one of us is a just visitor to this planet, a guest, who will only stay for a limited time. What greater folly could there be than to spend this short time alone, unhappy or in conflict with our companions? Far better, surely, to use our short time here in living a meaningful life, enriched by our sense of connection with others and being of service to them.
We are, you might say, “brainwashed” into thinking that money is the source of happiness, while what we really need to know is that inner peace is something that comes from within
The many factors which divide us are actually much more superficial than those we share. Despite all of the things that differentiate us – race, language, religion, gender, wealth and so on – we are all equal concerning our fundamental humanity.
Our world and our lives have become increasingly interdependent, so when our neighbour is harmed, it affects us too. Therefore we have to abandon outdated notions of “them” and “us” and think of our world much more in terms of a great “US”, a greater human family.
Gaining mastery over our destructive propensities, through the exercise of awareness and self-discipline with regard to our body, speech, and mind, frees us from the inner turmoil that naturally arises when our behaviour is at odds with our ideals. In place of this turmoil come confidence, integrity, and dignity – heroic qualities all human beings naturally aspire to.
It is vital that young people, the guardians of our future, develop a strong awareness of the futility of violence and war. They can learn from the examples of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., that non-violence is the best way to ensure peace in the long term. Because the twentieth century was a century of violence, let us make the twenty-first a century of dialogue.
The quality of everything we do: our physical actions, our verbal actions, and even our mental actions, depends on our motivation. That’s why it’s important for us to examine our motivation in our day to day life. If we cultivate respect for others and our motivation is sincere, if we develop a genuine concern for others’ well-being, then all our actions will be positive.
The practice of patience guards us against losing our presence of mind. It enables us to remain undisturbed, even when the situation is really difficult. It gives us a certain amount of inner peace, which allows us some self-control, so that we can choose to respond to situations in an appropriate and compassionate manner, rather than being driven by our disturbing emotions.
Every one of us is getting older, which is a natural process. Time is constantly moving on, second by second. Nothing can stop it, but what we can do is use our time properly; that is in our hands. Whether we believe in a spiritual tradition or not, we need to use our time meaningfully. If over days, weeks, months and years, we have used our time in a meaningful way – when our last day comes, we’ll be happy, we’ll have no regrets.
The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you think about this and come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, that it is only destructive, you can begin to distance yourself from anger.
Although violence and the use of force may appear powerful and decisive, their benefits are short-lived. Violence can never bring a lasting and long term resolution to any problem, because it is unpredictable and for every problem it seems to solve, others are created. On the other hand, truth remains constant and will ultimately prevail.