The Dalai Lama on individual action

As always in fact, the living incarnation of compassion seems never to have lost his hold on humanity. “Sometimes,’ he admits, “I wonder whether my efforts really have any effect; I sometimes feel that unless there is a bigger movement, the bigger issues will not change. But how to start this bigger movement? Originally, it must come from individual initiative.”

Enter the doctor of metaphysics trained in rigorous logic. “So, for example, whenever I leave a hotel room, I always try to switch off the light. In a way, it’s silly. But if another ten persons follow my example, then 100 persons, there is an effect. From that point of view, I believe that constant effort, tireless effort, pursuing clear goals with sincere effort is the only way. It’s the only way! The bigger nations and more powerful leaders are not taking care. And God is also somewhere asleep, I think.”

He gives another hearty laugh, eyes glinting merrily in the California sun. “So we poor human beings, we must make the attempt.” This year, at least, the Nobel prize seems to have been awarded for inner, as well as global, peace.

The Dalai Lama, in Time magazine (this extract was copied down a very long time ago, and has come a long way with me. Apologies for any copyright infringement – if you know who wrote this, please let me know so that I can set the record straight).