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The World We Share

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

The World We Share

Our well-being depends on one another.
Dalai  Lama
Dalai Lama More by this author
Mar 15, 2010 at 10:00 AM

In ancient times, some religious teachings said that we must develop altruism or practice altruism as a matter of virtue or ethics. Today, I feel the circumstances are entirely different, because the world—due to technology and also the population—has become much smaller. Some events may happen on one side of the world and its repercussions or effects are felt on the other. We depend heavily on one another. Today altruism is a practical necessity.

In economic and environmental fields, also, countries depend heavily on one another. The concept of “we” and “they” is out-of-date. We should consider the whole world as “we” or “us.” However, the reality is that because of a lack of awareness and analytical meditation, this has not happened. We still believe in separateness. I feel that many problems happen because of this kind of narrow-mindedness and shortsightedness.

For instance, we now face a serious, worldwide ecological problem; and no matter how powerful one or two nations are, the issue will not be resolved without joint effort or a common position. In a modern economy, there are no natural boundaries; and in certain fields, like health or education, there is already unification.

My own interest, my own future, and my own nation’s future are very much related with other people. But human thought is still very concerned about “my” nation, “my” nationality, “my” national boundary. Reality has changed, but our concept has not caught up. It is not even getting close to reality, and this is one cause for problems.

Obviously, for the six billion members of humanity, this small planet is our only hope, and we all have the responsibility to look after it as a whole. I believe we need a sense of “global” and “universal responsibility.” When that is established, our attitude toward other minor problems—economic, religious, or cultural—will be more easily tackled. I advocate the practice and implementation of that kind of spirit.

The remedy is that we must catch up with that reality. Human attitude must develop, must change, and must embrace reality. We need a sense of global responsibility, a sense of universal responsibility. With that we can solve many man-made problems or at least minimize them.

I think the logic is quite simple! You see, my interest very much depends on others’ interests. Unless I take care of others’ interests, I will not benefit. If I ignore others’ interests, ultimately I will lose and suffer. If we take more care about others’ rights, others’ interests, ultimately we all benefit.

About Author
Dalai  Lama
Tenzin Gyatso (born July 6, 1935) is the 14th and current Dalai Lama. He is a practicing member of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism and is influential as a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and as the world’s most famous Buddhist monk. He is also the Continue reading