Whether others are beautiful or ugly, benevolent or cruel, they are all sentient beings like us. And like us, they want to be happy and not suffer, which is their right, just like us. Recognizing that all beings are equal in their aspirations and their right to happiness, we feel a sense of empathy that brings us closer to them. As we get accustomed to this impartial altruism, we finally experience a sense of universal responsibility.
Summarized and adapted from Les voies spirituelles du bonheur, Presses du Chatelet, Paris, 2002; Points Sagesse, Seuil, 2004. English version: The Compassionate Life, Shambhala 2003
FOURTEENTH DALAI LAMA, TENZIN GYATSO (B. 1936)