The human capacity to care for others isn’t something trivial or something to be taken for granted. Rather, it is something we should cherish. Compassion is a marvel of human nature, a precious inner resource, and the foundation of our well-being and the harmony of our societies. If we seek happiness for ourselves, we should practice compassion: and if we seek happiness for others, we should also practice compassion.
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.
In today’s materialistic world there is a risk of people becoming slaves to money, as though they were simply cogs in a huge money-making machine. This does nothing for human dignity, freedom, and genuine well-being. Wealth should serve humanity, and not the other way around.
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.
If each of us can learn to relate to each other more out of compassion, with a sense of connection to each other and a deep recognition of our common humanity, and more important, to teach this to our children, I believe that this can go a long way in reducing many of the conflicts and problems that we see today.
Disturbing emotions not only disturb our own state of mind, they also disturb the minds of others. Self-centredness gives rise to fear and insecurity, which in turn creates distrust. This is why having an altruistic attitude brings a great sense of happiness and peace of mind.
Peace has a great deal to do with warm-heartedness and respect for the lives of others, avoiding doing them harm and regarding their lives as being as precious as our own. If, on that basis, we can also be of help to others, so much the better.
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.
Giving material goods is one form of generosity, but one can extend an attitude of generosity into all one’s behavior. Being kind, attentive, and honest in dealing with others, offering praise where it is due, giving comfort and advice where they are needed, and simply sharing one’s time with someone – all these are forms of generosity, and they do not require any particular level of material wealth.
When we are angry we are blind to reality. Anger may bring us a temporary burst of energy, but that energy is blind and it blocks the part of our brain that distinguishes right from wrong. To deal with our problems, we need to be practical and realistic. If we are to be realistic, we need to use our human intelligence properly, which means we need a calm mind.
There is a saying in Tibetan that “at the door of the miserable rich man sleeps the contented beggar.” The point of this saying is not that poverty is a virtue, but that happiness does not come from wealth, but from setting limits to one’s desires, and living within those limits with satisfaction.
A jug fills drop by drop.
Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.
Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?
All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?
An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.
Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.
Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.
It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.
It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.
It is better to travel well than to arrive.
We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.
No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.
The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.
There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.
A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.
Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses.
At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.
Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty.
He who is contented is rich.
Great acts are made up of small deeds.
He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.
Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.
A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be
Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.
- Bob Marley