The Dalai Lama on Loneliness

In The Art of Happiness, HH is asked if he’s ever lonely. He responds that he is not, and here’s why:

“I think that one factor is that I look at any human being from a more positive angle. I try to look at their positive aspects. This attitude immediately creates a feeling of affinity, a kind of connectedness.” [page 68] “If you approach others with the thought of compassion, that will automatically reduce fear and allow an openness with other people. … But without the attitude of compassion, if you are feeling closed, irritated, or indifferent, then you can even be approached by your best friend and you just feel uncomfortable. I think that in many cases people tend to expect the other person to respond to them in a positive way first, rather than taking the initiative themselves to create that possibility. I feel that’s wrong; it leads to problems and can act as a barrier that just serves to promote a feeling of isolation from others.”

The trick, apparently, is seeing other people as like you instead of as “other.” Oh, and empathy. Empathy’s a big player.

Given all of the poison crap surrounding me right now (globally, not personally), I really need this kind of outlook. Is it wrong that I would really, really like to violently force these ideas into the heads of people who think that it’s ok for the police to kill unarmed black people? It is? I can live with that….

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