Compassion and the Individual Article: Summary and Response
In the article “Compassion and the individual,” the Fourteenth Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso talks about the importance of love and compassion for one’s well-being. He argues that the purpose of life is to be happy, but the achievement of happiness is impossible without love and compassion.
The Fourteenth Dalai Lama states that people are naturally social and interdependent and that the need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence; people conceive children aiming to give them love, and children can grow up healthy only feeling the love of their parents (Gyatso, n. d.). Furthermore, love is the core of mental well-being; the feelings of people always make a difference, and one can explain the high rates of mental diseases in the developed countries with the lack of affection between individuals (Gyatso, n. d.).
In turn, compassion is also one of the main determinants of the mental and physical health; when people develop true compassion, they always strive to help others solve their problems and feel empathy and closeness regardless of the behavior of others (Gyatso, n. d.). Next, Dalai Lama emphasizes that one could develop love and compassion eliminating anger and hatred and learning from one’s enemies. He highlights that enemies allow people to practice tolerance and to change the circumstances turning enemies into friends (Gyatso, n. d.). Finally, Dalai Lama states that love and compassion form the basis for universal altruism and that only this feeling can remove self-centered attitudes of people and save our planet.
The article of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama is written with clear and concise language and is aimed at wide audiences. I completely agree with the content of the article; people are social creatures, and it is impossible to deny our desire to have social connections and close relationship with each other. Unfortunately, the rapid pace of life, the development of the Internet, and capitalism negatively influence the establishment of a true relationship between people; we tend to have more fake friends and acquaintances but cannot find true support and empathy.
The social nature of human beings also explains the happiness that we feel when we help others solve their problems. Trustful relationship, close friends, and altruism benefit out mental health, and our minds directly influence our physical health. Altruism, love, and compassion make people happier and healthier, and in this state, we are less likely to pursue our self-centered desires and can save the world that currently suffers from conflicts and wars.
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