Kindness and Love, a teaching by the Karmapa upon his visit to the Suja School.
25th Sept, 2014. TCV Suja School.
On the morning of September 24th, His Holiness and entourage travelled to the Tibetan Children’s Village at Suja, 57 kms from Gyuto Monastery, near the Tibetan Settlement of Bir. On the way, they stopped to greet community leaders and people who had gathered on the roadside to welcome His Holiness at both Tashi Jong and Sherab Ling. Upon arriving at the Suja TCV school, His Holiness was welcomed with deep respect by the school’s Director, and the children, teachers and many others who lined the road. That morning, the children performed for him the play of Milarepa.
After lunch, groups of students engaged with the “Tibet Our Country” program presented His Holiness with their projects about Tibetan culture. His Holiness later expressed his appreciation for the presentations.
The next day, at their request, His Holiness addressed the students and staff of the large community. He focused on the value of respect, kindness, and love. As he pointed out, all beings have the experiences of happiness and suffering, not just humans, so it is essential to respect all forms of life. Humans “are the most terrifying animal though, because their actions affect the entire planet and all its inhabitants, which is something that no big and powerful animal such as the tiger, leopard or elephant can do. What’s more, over and above our individual power of body, speech and mind, humans have the support of machines, which multiplies our effect one hundred or one thousand times. Because it’s like that, we must each take responsibility for our actions. If we don’t, if we just do whatever we want, the entire world is in great danger. And therefore, kindness and love are extremely important.
“We have the propensity for showing kindness and love from birth, it is part of our nature. However, it has been turned off by our upbringing or different circumstances, and we have become habituated to not using it. And because of this, there is much difficulty in the world. Our lack of respect, kindness and love is killing the world more than any epidemic diseases. Why is this happening? It is because we don’t take responsibility; we think others’ situations are not our business. We are too self-involved to pay attention to others.
“But take for example our clothing. Though we will probably never meet the people far away who have made our brand-name clothing, we receive the benefit that they give us on our own body. In this same way, we have never heard of or seen most of the people who support us, but we do receive benefit from them indirectly. So what we understand from this is that we, the world’s people, live in dependence on each other. No one is able to survive through their own resources alone, independent of others. I am part of the other, the other is part of me. Thus, if we think about how things actually are, we have no choice but to think about each other, to be interested in each other.
“But most people do not have the desire to think like this, or to take responsibility in this way. They feel it is too difficult, that they don’t have the ability or the strength. If they do think about it, they feel it is a great burden; they don’t see it as something they can do with joy and delight. Why is this? It’s because they don’t have kindness and love. If a person has a kind and loving mind, then they feel a natural delight, joy and willingness to work for others.
“So we see that kindness and love are essential for our survival. Furthermore, if an individual wishes to accomplish something with his or her life, if they want to accomplish something great, it is extremely difficult without kindness and love. Many people think that if they want to become great and famous, they need to have a good education. They think that if they get the highest degree of education, then they will get a good job, and they will be able to be of benefit. But there is no guarantee of that at all. Some scholars have studied how people accomplish something satisfying and successful with their lives. They discovered that about 10% of success depends on knowledge, 5 or 6% on experience, 3 or 4% on favorable circumstances and confidence, and the rest, on one’s relationships with others. And what is the foundation of good relationships with others? Kindness and love.”
His Holiness concluded his visit with an audience for the staff, and the consecration of the school. It was a highly successful visit, an example for all of the activity of kindness and love.