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Brave new world

The Dalai Lama says,"If I were a doctor, I would write in all my prescriptions to patients: Be altruistic and you will get better."

india Updated: Jul 18, 2011 23:40 IST
PP Wangchuk

The Dalai Lama says,"If I were a doctor, I would write in all my prescriptions to patients: Be altruistic and you will get better."

The quality of being altruistic should be every human being's top priority on the list of things to be done on any given day. It is this quality — thinking of others before self — that makes one a true human being. Otherwise, any kind of wealth you amass is of no use because you are poorer within by as much.

When you have concern for others, you develop leadership qualities because of which you become fearless and courageous. But when you confine yourself to the ‘I', you shrink and your world too shrinks to a dark and fearsome dungeon. You will start feeling insecure and the world outside for you will be foreign and you may take it as dangerous. You will see nothing positive around. You will consider even those who come to help you as your potential enemies. You see danger at every step you take and an enemy in every person you meet. This kind of daily 'happening' can make your life miserable as you will feel insecure even in the most secure place of your home.

But altruism opens up a brave new world. It makes you not only courageous but also kind and helpful. It makes you feel that your power and strength lies in making others feel good and ‘powered'. The world is as good as you are, as it reacts the way you do.

As a result, you feel good and on top of the world. You find no excuse not to be at the service of humanity. On the other hand, one who takes recourse to excuses, I would like to give this reminder from Alexander Pope," An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie; for an excuse is a lie guarded." And, as Roman philosopher Cicero says, the greatest theatre for virtue is conscience." Virtue and conscience are the tools for altruism.