“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible” The DalaiLama

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HHDalaiLama be kind whenever possible, it is always possible

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Sometimes, it might seem easy to access a sense of kindness. Other times, it seems, at least for me, a bit more “challenging.”  ( “whenever possible” seems to be my range, “always possible” is an aspiration: “look, far away there  in the distance are my highest aspirations”...Louisa May Alcott )  If you notice the “categories/tags” listed beneath this post, they include some of the qualities that I find are helpful for accessing and acting out of a sense of  kindness: intention, patience, tolerance, generosity, compassion, spirituality, courage, inspiration, a sense of “common humanity,” and wisdom…. a group of loyal helpers and allies.

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HHDalaiLama be kind whenever possible helpful qualities

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“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible”
The Dalai Lama

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A link to a special and touching newspaper article I read this morning…about TheDaliaLama gently and kindly comforting some very sad and grieving parents: The Healing Powers of The Dalai Lama

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20 Responses to “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible” The DalaiLama

  1. One of my favorite quotes, thank you for the reminder today!

  2. Pingback: 12/22/12 “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible” The DalaiLama « Reflections From a Friend

  3. It is one of my favourite quotes. The Dalai Lama is a man who often inspires me to goodness and to being. What a wondrous story of being with someone in their “sad”. Kindness is great underrated in my opinion.

    • ps…Joss, do you remember my mentioning that one of the things I most wish I could do would be to share, encourage and spread ideas about kindness with people who come to PP and Reflections blogs? Well, I put a kindness quote from the DalaiLama on Reflections yesterday and now today added this one on PP and Reflections…Joss, those 2 quotes seem to have been viewed more than 650 times yesterday and today…can you imagine a more lovely thought than 650 people viewing and hopefully taking in tender thoughts encouraging kindness…and maybe going out into their lives with more kindness…truly a blessing. May kindness spread and abound.
      And Joss, (and Marie and others, if you arrive here) you know that story in that SaltLakeCity newspaper? I realized this evening that I was treated with similar kindness by a student of the DalaiLama’s, 4 years ago next week….very deep sadness and unhappiness met with similar deep kindness…leading to “healing.”…that’s kind of an amazing coincidence, if that’s what it would be called. My goodness, what a blessing that was. The kindness seems to have gone around in a circle, or a spiral…the kindness from The DalaiLama to Jampa, passed along to me, leading to me healing, leading to me creating pages and putting them on blogs, to now me putting on some kind DalaiLama quotes and those going out to many others…Isn’t that something?

      • don’t you love being part of a spiral of kindness! How wonderful and so touching to know you had a similar experience as mentioned in that story in the SaltlakeCity paper. How did I not know you had another blog? I live in a cave, I tell ya! heh heh. I did a post on kindness on my CCWOW blog tonight and linked back to this post.

      • sufilight says:

        It’s a blessing to be a ripple of kindness. By the views you are getting, (wonderful!) it’s encouraging as this means humanity is becoming more interested in extending love and kindness.

        • I’m so encouraged that there has been such interest in ideas about “kindness” in the past several days… heartwarming, actually. I hope there will be lots written, discussed and enacted with and about kindness to encourage and expand the continuation of this interest. Really Marie, it’s so hopeful. (and the interest in those “kindness” posts continues…getting closer to 900 views now …my own little “google trends analytics”…. for kindness : ) ) (btw.. viewers are coming in through reddit …subreddits of getmotivated and buddhism. I don’t quite get what reddit is, but lots of people seem to use it… and those are such positive topic areas, so that’s very positive )

          • sufilight says:

            Wow, you are getting fantastic views. I don’t use reddit as I don’t know what it is but will check it out as I would love to get healthy traffic, I get about 70 views a day, the most was 202 but last year. :)

            • Oh, this is very unusual….I think 70 views/day sounds very positive. Jampa always keeps/kept reminding me that even just one view is what matters…no more are needed…and his firm opinion is that my own positive intention to share ideas and contribute in whatever ways possible is way more important than what happens once things are posted. I work hard to rest in that motivation, but sometimes I stray out of it.
              Again, this many views has never happened on PP or RFAF. The views might just be the overlap of people’s strong concerns about what happened in Conn. and the Dalai Lama quotes being posted…somehow getting picked up and passed along. I post quotes from the DalaiLama on a regular basis, when they resonate with me on a particular day, and this degree of viewing hasn’t happened before. But I’m so happy that so many seem interested in the ideas of kindness…very hopeful. btw… I think reddit might be younger people. (well almost everyone who posts is younger than me… :D , so that word “younger” might be deceptive…maybe I mean people in their 20’s and 30’s. )

  4. Yes, it’s a lovely quote…and I also have, and continue to be, inspired by the kindness, generosity, compassion and wisdom of the DalaiLama. I agree about the story from the Salt Lake City newspaper…the wondrous power of the DaliaLama of simply “being” with the sadness of that couple, sad…what a basic, kind, loving and generous interaction. For me, “kindness” is close to ultimate… a wondrous inspiration and offering to others.

  5. sufilight says:

    What a beautiful story of kindness. The Dalai Lama acknowledged the parent’s sadness and extended compassion through eye contact and the human touch. Made my eyes wet. Presence is what we humans sometimes need in a time of grief.

  6. John says:

    This is something that I wrestle with often—how kind to be, versus how truthful to be.

    Truth hurts and stings, sometimes. And so there is usually a tension between comfort and truth—

    “Truth or reality is avoided when it is painful. . . . We must always hold truth, as best we can determine it, to be more important, more vital to our self-interest, than our comfort. Conversely, we must always consider our personal discomfort relatively unimportant and, indeed, even welcome it in the service of the search for truth. Mental health is an ongoing process of dedication to reality at all costs.” – M. Scott Peck, “The Road Less Traveled”

    I’ve made my choice. I’m a philo-sophia—a lover of wisdom and truth, first and foremost; I prefer truth as straight up as possible.

    But most people are not like this. Instead of being philo-sophias—lovers of wisdom and dedicated to truth—they are philo-chrestotes and philo-parakaleō—lovers of kindness, dedicated to comfort and ease.

    Rumi wrote, “Unkindness from the wise is better from kindness from the ignorant.” And Trogyam Trungpa (and Ken Wilber) talks about “Idiot Compassion”—

    “Idiot compassion is the highly conceptualized idea that you want to do good….Of course, [according to
    the Mahayana teachings of Buddhism] you should do everything for everybody; there is no selection
    involved at all. But that doesn’t mean to say that you have to be gentle (or presumably nice or kind) all the time. Your gentleness should have heart, strength. In order that your compassion doesn’t become idiot compassion (or idiot kindness, or idiot niceness), you have to use your intelligence. Otherwise, there could be self-indulgence of thinking that you are creating a compassionate situation when in fact you are feeding the other person’s aggression. If you go to a shop and the shopkeeper cheats you and you go back and let him cheat you again, that doesn’t seem to be a very healthy thing to do for others.”

    Because as he did to you he’ll do to others. People who cheat or who exploit others or who have certain unsavory traits and tendencies generally don’t get that way by accident. They are the way they are because perhaps no one has stood up to them before or really gone the distance in opposing them and standing up for what’s right. Remember that saying of Edmund Burke—“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”? Or all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for people to not be very discerning in regards to what the larger effects of their kindness and niceness or gentleness might be.

    And even the Dalia Lama himself wrote (in “How to Expand Love,” pg. 202):

    “Analyze each situation to determine what will help. Even poison is known to counteract certain problems.”

    And then he goes on immediately to quote what Nagarjuna (a second or third century Buddhist sage and the founder of the Mahayana Buddhism) says in his “Precious Garlands of Advice”—
    “Even give poison to those whom it will help.
    But do not give even the best food to those whom it will not help.
    The Buddha said that if it helps others,
    You should even bring temporary discomfort.”

    The second line sounds a lot like what Jesus said/advised about not throwing pearls before swine, or what is often said in Buddhist circles about not lending weapons to a thief (to the ego).

    Interesting and thought-provoking stuff. And I think I am close to your conclusion—whenever possible and whenever it seems like it won’t serve to enable the other person, be kind.

    Merry Christmas and kindest regards,

    John

    • Hi John, thank you for your thought-filled comment. You present many helpful perspectives about this philosophy. I agree that there are times when supporting others in acting out unethical choices would not be sensible or kind. Through many years of teaching school (and life), I have learned that sometimes, setting firm limits is a positive choice for kindness. I’ve also learned that setting those limits can be done in a “careful” manner that leads to positive, rather than doing it from a reactive stance. (not always easy for me to do…took lots of pausing, stepping back and choosing effective words and options.) At school, home and in life, I try (as often as I’m able to do so )to use the criteria in “wise speech”…. “expressed without harshness, well intended, beneficial, timely and true.” Those are up on our kitchen cupboards and used to be in my classroom. At school, I shortened it to “Is it kind? Is it helpful?”…and if it wasn’t, it often didn’t need to be said or done. (here are the pages we have on our cupboard at home http://pocketperspectives.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/3120/ I also have put much thought into the ideas of direct/indirect communication…an area that can have much reactivity when there are differing styles. http://pocketperspectives.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/ouch-challenges-with-varying-communication-styles/
      There sure is a lot to learn in life! I think it’s quite remarkable that most of us do as well as we do… Wishing a happy holiday season to you, too…. Kathy

  7. Very true saying. We all should observe it, and try to follow this advice.
    Merry Christmas!

  8. Pingback: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible” (The Dalai Lama) | What Is Real True Love?

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