Wise Selfishness

I had the honor of seeing the Dalai Lama in person last week.  He spoke to an intimate crowd of twenty some thousand of us.   I’m not a religious person.  I call myself spiritual but more in the sense of being a good person, doing the right thing.  I’m not convinced of a higher power but refrain at this point of labeling myself an Atheist.   I was afraid I would be bored.  But I found him riveting.

He spoke of Wise Selfishness.  He said that for people to thrive requires a bit of selfishness.  We need to eat, take care of our bodies, stimulate our brains, learn to be happy.  He called this ‘wise selfish’ as opposed to ‘foolish selfish’.  He said that people also to need to be warm-hearted.  He said that warm heartedness prevents us from being angry, bitter people.  We need to open and kind to others.  He said that wise selfishness, warm-heartedness leads to healthy, happy people.  Healthy, happy people are what will bring about world peace.

I love this.  Wise Selfishness, Warm Heartedness equals Healthy, Happy People.  I will remember this my whole life.  I can’t wait to see the broadcast of the One World Concert with the Dalai Lama and see this inspiring man again.

I do think that the concept of world peace and end of war/violence is a naive fairy tale that will never happen.  I have personally witnessed some of the most hateful behavior towards others. But then I think about the strides our own country has made in the past century.  I’m currently reading Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns.  Its about the great migration of black people from the south to the north before the Civil Right’s Movement.  This country was astonishingly cruel not only to the slaves but to the former slaves.  We managed to come together and say segregation, Jim Crowe you are not right!  Perhaps there is hope for the Dalai Lama’s vision for this world on a global level at some point in the future.  

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