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John Friend        


Writing assignment 2


        Buddhism is the center of life for many people across the planet. Surrounding Buddhism are many important values and believes that people live by. Two of these are Karuna and Metta, both of which have powerful meanings. Karuna means compassion, but a form of compassion that is action based rather than just feeling sorry or pity for someone which the common English idea is. Metta is the idea that all things in the universe are interconnected, that everything can or will have an impact on something else.

        On the list of the Dalai Lama’s teachings a line that reads “Human beings are social creatures, and concern for each other is the very basis of our life together” this to me is a perfect illustration of karuna. Karuna says that we should have compassion for each other not only emotionally but physically and by doing so you are also helping yourself. We all rely on each other and without the support and compassion of each other then we would not be able to succeed in whatever way you measure success. For example, for the millions of people in the world living in poverty the quality of life is very low, but because of the help of others who are more fortunate and give a hand toward the problem by doing things such as food drives or constructing homes, this problem slowly gets better. It may not solve the issue but one by one these people in poverty will be given a hand by the people who chose to show compassion and practice Karuna.

        Another line from the Dalai Lama’s teachings is “we must cultivate a universal responsibility toward each other and extend it to the planet that we have to share”. This is great example of Metta because humans as a species have the highest power and responsibility to keep our planet the best we can. Because everything we do will affect the planet in some shape or form we have to make sure that what we do is having a positive affect instead of doing harm, which is the Metta. Each day millions of people get in their car and go to work or the store when maybe sometimes it’s not too far of a drive. Instead of releasing these toxic fossil fuels into the atmosphere every day and having a negative effect on the planet, perhaps these people could take their bike which over time could start to have a positive impact.



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