And what did you want?
To call myself beloved.
To feel myself beloved on this earth.
The Dalai Lama once told a group of professors at Columbia University that the greatest teachers in the world aren’t the lamas or professors or gurus. The greatest teachers are the mothers, for they’re the ones who give children their first experience of being loved and valued as human beings.
I would expand that view of teacher to fathers, grandparents and any other person who has a compassionate and loving relationship with a child.
And this teaching isn’t just for children. It is for ourselves and everyone we come in contact with. When we practice love and compassion we bring more peace and happiness into the world. As the Dalai Lama says, “The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes. Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. This helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the ultimate source of success in life.” It is our human nature to want love and connection with others.
One of the greatest sources of stress and depression in modern life is the over-emphasis on material things and not enough on the deep need for affection and connection with our fellow human beings.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “We must be the change we want in the world.” Every day we have opportunities to put more love and compassion into the world. Becoming a “great teacher” by taking advantage of those opportunities is the greatest thing we can do for ourselves and for everyone else.
For more on the Dalai Lama’s views, click here.
And to explore another view of the search for purpose, see Adam Kayce’s post