I was recently re-reading Essential Teachings: His Holiness The Dalai Lama, (North Atlantic Books, 1995) when I came across this quote. I was taken a back by the awesome power and simple truth of his observation: (Bold and Italics added by Phil)
Look around us at this world that we call “civilized” and that for more than 2000 years has searched to obtain happiness and avoid suffering by false means: trickery, corruption, hate, abuse of power, and exploitation of others. We have searched only for individual and material happiness, opposing people against each other, one race against another, social systems against others. This has led to a time of fear, of suffering, murder, and famine . . . It is because each person has looked only for his own profit without fear of oppressing others for selfish goals, and this sad and pitiful world is the result. The root of this civilization is rotten, the world suffers, and if it continues in this way, it will suffer more and more.” (pg. xii)
His Holiness offers the cure–and he does so with so much love and conviction! Can we not practice and train ourselves daily to comply?
“Training our minds, renouncing excess, and living in harmony with others and with ourselves will assure us happiness, even if our daily life is ordinary. And if we should encounter adversity, others will help us because we have been good and kind. We must not forget that even in the most perverted and cruel human being, as long as he is human, a small grain of love and compassion exists that will make him, one day, a Buddah.” (ibid, pgs 6-7)
Observe everything – judge nothing. I offer this teaching with the deepest of love and gratitude to each of you.