Is the kind of peace and love that are described in "Ethics of Compassion" by the Dalai Lama really what people want?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

This essay expresses the idea in the so-called "golden rule" - do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It is hard to argue that people would not want that. The Dalai Lama says that "compassion and love are not luxuries" and that if we do not practice them to everyone, not just our friends and family or people that we like, but to everyone, our species will not survive. He asks "What are the alternatives?" Violence, aggression, money? He believes that compassion is not a barrier to success in the business world, like some have proposed, but rather the lack of compassion even in business can result in destructive actions. We have seen this happen in the Bernie Madoff scandal, Enron, etc., when the business leaders did not care what happened to anyone but themselves and earning more money.

So, is this kind of peace and love what everyone wants? What do you think? Just because we would like it, does not mean we are going to get it. These same ideas are also inherent in the teachings of Christianity, Judaism and Islam (NOT radical Islam). So, if these major world religions, including Buddhism of the Dalai Lama, are calling for such compassion and yet it is so rare in the world, something must be wrong, right? In Christianity, the answer for the lack thereof is sin. Christians believe that man has a sin nature and a spiritual nature and that these two natures are always at war within us. This is why, as St. Paul says, we know what we should do, but we often cannot do it.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial