It is clear that something is seriously lacking in the way we humans are going about things. But what is it that we lack? The fundamental problem, I believe, is that at every level we are giving too much attention to the external, material aspects of life while neglecting moral ethics and inner values. By inner values, I mean the qualities that we all appreciate in others, and toward which we all have a natural instinct, bequeathed by our biological nature as animals that survive and thrive only in an environment of concern, affection, and warm-heartedness – or in a single word, compassion. The essence of compassion is a desire to alleviate the suffering of others and to promote their well-being. This is the spiritual principle from which all other positive inner values emerge.
14th Dalai Lama
from the book Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World
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Further quotes from the book Beyond Religion:
- Basic human values oriented by nature
- Spirituality and ethics beyond religion
- Cooperating with one another
- Being wise selfish
- Learning to open our hearts
- The key to human happiness
- Confidence, integrity, and dignity