"think about this: what would your day be like if everyone you encountered treated you the way they hoped to be treated in return? what if we all just started doing that? what i mean is, what if we all took a moment to think about how we actually wanted to be treated, and then conducted ourselves according to those guidelines? what if the first thing we saw when we looked at someone were the ways in which they were similar to ourselves, instead of the ways in which they were different? what if we all started really paying attention to the moments when we feel feel happy? i've found that when i'm sad, the most consistently effective way to cheer myself up is to make other people feel good. this has translated into a lot of: homemade cookie hand-outs, door-holding, generous tips, and unexpected gifts for friends, family, co-workers, strangers, etc. i know this might sound like some really sappy, overused, feel-good bullsh*t, but it really works for me, and i'm fairly certain that it's a universal path to [at least small scale] peace and community and contentment. ethics for the new millenium is an incredible launching pad for this type of mental shift. and as his holiness says in the book:
'...to those who say that the Dalai Lama is being unrealistic in advocating this ideal of unconditional love, I urge them to experiment with it nonetheless.'"
In a difficult, uncertain time, it takes a person of great courage, such as the Dalai Lama, to give us hope. Regardless of the violence and cynicism we see on television and read about in the news, there is an argument to be made for basic human goodness. The number of people who spend their lives engaged in violence and dishonesty is tiny compared to the vast majority who would wish others only well. According to the Dalai Lama, our survival has depended and will continue to depend on our basic goodness. Ethics for the New Millennium presents a moral system based on universal rather than religious principles. Its ultimate goal is happiness for every individual, irrespective of religious beliefs. Though he himself a practicing Buddhist, the Dalai Lama's teachings and the moral compass that guides him can lead each and every one of us—Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, or atheist—to a happier, more fulfilling life.