Saturday, July 30, 2011

Relieving Other's Suffering

The Dalai Lama teaches that all sentient beings want to be happy and not to suffer. Who can argue with this? I suffer when I see other’s suffering. Suffering can take many forms. One of the ways I strive to practice compassion is to alleviate suffering whenever I can. I don’t necessarily do this in big ways. I look for opportunities in my daily interactions with people and animals. My tools are often no more than a kind word and a smile. If I can do anything to lighten another person’s load or stress level I will try to do so. I am not a real Buddhist although I feel like one. I try to inflict no harm on any living creature. I even avoid killing insects as much as possible. Currently I am sharing my bathroom with a small spider. As long as he doesn’t attack me we will live in peace. Other tools at my disposal are a kind heart and a listening ear. Often the only thing people really need is someone to listen to them. Other times all they need is someone to cut them some slack or give them a break. These things are easy to do and don’t demand great resources of time, talent, or money. A caring heart can do wonders. I realize that to alleviate much of the suffering in life requires much more than my simple gestures but you have to start somewhere and you shouldn’t underestimate your ability to make a difference in someone’s life. Mother Teresa says, “If you can’t feed the world, feed one person”. This attitude can be applied to many of life's everyday occurances.

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