Sometimes it is good to remind ourselves the wise words of the spiritual teachers especially relevant in this difficult time for the whole world - a time when humanity faced an unprecedented ordeal and seemed to be silent in the face of suffering and uncertainty.
The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are not only great spiritual leaders of our time, they are also moral teachers. Their courage and their steadfast faith in humanity inspire millions of people around the world. They go beyond religious dogmas and speak with concern and warmth to all mankind. Here are a few kindness guidelines for everyone who might feel in need of peaceful wisdom and contentment.
1. We can heal our own pain by turning to the pain of others. When we think about how to alleviate another's suffering, our own suffering weakens. Here is the real secret to happiness.
2. Suffering is an opportunity that fate gives - to learn toughness, to be able to maintain self-control in the face of dangers and trials. Suffering can either make us angry or ennoble us; it all depends on whether we are able to find meaning in it.
3. What keeps people moving forward, clenching their teeth, digging their nails into their palms, and moving on is not optimism, but hope. Stubborn, unquenchable hope. Hope is the antidote to despair. Yet hope requires faith, even if it is faith simply in human nature or in the very resilience of life to find a way out of any situation.
4. The only things that bring us happiness are love, and kindness. They inspire inner strength and confidence and reduce fear.
5. We are programmed to be compassionate. We are created to care for others and be generous to one another. We fade when it is impossible to communicate. In part, this is why the harsh prison is such a horrific punishment.
6. In order to grow and ennoble one's spirit, one must experience some ordeal, some deprivation, or disappointment. And he learns this in all sorts of ways, receiving different lessons. Although he does not always see it as an opportunity to grow. There are people, though few, whose lives develop smoothly, from beginning to end, and they find it difficult to learn this lesson. And everyone must be purified.
7. The way to overcome the sadness and grief that overwhelmed us as a result of a heavy loss is to use them as motivation and to discover the deeper meaning of what is happening.
8. With spiritual growth we can accept everything that happens to us. We don’t accept it as a result of being wrong or guilty of what happened - it's just part of the fabric of life. There are moments of hopelessness and dissatisfaction in life. The question is not "How to avoid them?", But "How to use them as something positive?"
9. When we find more joy, we can face suffering in a way that ennobles us, instead of leaving us with bitterness in our souls. This is how we go through difficulties without our hearts hardening. Without being broken.
10. We become better when our goodness is tested.
11. Whatever life offers to us, we can respond with joy.
Joy is happiness that does not depend on what happens. It is the grateful response to the opportunity that life offers to us in this very moment.
12. Some dose of suffering is a necessary part of life - without it there is no way for compassion to be born in us.
13. We may not be able to do a great deed, but start where we are and do what we can. It would be awful if we just said to ourselves, "Oh, what do I care!"
It is great if we are upset by the problems of the world. This is part of our greatness as human beings - that we can grieve for someone who is not part of our family, that we are worried about him/her ... It is amazing how compassionate and generous people can be.
14. It often seems to us that suffering will engulf us, that it will never end, but if we realize that it also passes, that it is temporary, we can experience it much more easily and appreciate what we need to learn from it, to find meaning in unhappiness. In this way we will cross more easily to the other shore, not embittered, but ennobled.
15. Fear is part of human nature; it is a natural reaction that rises within us in the face of danger. But if you let your imagination run wild, then you will exaggerate the problem and experience even more fear.
Selected for you with Joy
From The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a World of Change