Building a New World (Photo by Dewang Gupta on Unsplash)

Positive Emotions and Building a New World

I’m currently reading the book, The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World, by His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, MD.

In Chapter 13, The Dalai Lama says…

“This tendency to relate to each other on the basis of what differentiates us is so prevalent in today’s society. It’s given great importance and seems to be a reflection of our societal values, with our acquisition of material wealth. But one fundamental problem with this kind of approach is that you end up relating to the person’s money, their status or power, rather than the person himself or herself. No matter what other factors serve as the basis for our sense of community, no matter what other ways that we may relate to others, if we can maintain a feeling of connection to others based on our common humanity, it will prevent all these problems from arising.”

The timing of digesting these words is eerie as I caught myself thinking about material wealth while watching a cheesy Christmas film on Netflix last night. Why can’t I live in a big fancy palace? Well I can if I really wanted to. But it would have to be for more reasons than just because I want to be rich. Was I more drawn to the characters in the film just because they were wealthy? Possibly, but I hope it was also because of the good values they espoused. I am not using this as a platform to say that money is bad and that all wealthy people are not well intentioned. Money is a tool that can make the world a better place if used properly. The thing is that I should feel connection to anyone, whether rich or poor, based on deeper spiritual values that we might share. I agree with the Dalai Lama…if we can focus on those deeper connections without being distracted by on-the-surface differences, who knows what can be possible for all of us.

Do you agree?

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