Sweeten the World Up

What we do, for good or ill, sends ripple effects through the lives of those around us and beyond. Our jealousies, small-mindedness, and insecurities affect our families, friends, and coworkers. So do our integrity, confidence, cheerfulness, and generosity.

Doesn’t it make sense that working on ourselves can improve the state of our sweet old world? Doesn’t it make sense that it’s the best starting point?

This is a quote from renowned meditation master Chogyam Trungpa.

There are many international problems, and throughout the world chaos is taking place all the time — which is obviously far from the expression of enlightened society. In the past, various disciplines or faiths, such as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, had great dignity. There were extraordinarily sane people among the ancients who worked to make the world worthwhile and passed down their wisdom generation by generation. But there has been a problem of corruption. The world has been seduced by physical materialism as well as by psychological materialism, let alone spiritual materialism! The world is beginning to turn sour.

Our measures may be small at this point, but we’re trying to sweeten the world up. In the long run, we want to offer something beyond a token. We want to make a real contribution to the development of enlightened society. That begins right here. As they say, charity begins at home.

From “Working with Early Morning Depression,” in GREAT EASTERN SUN: THE WISDOM OF SHAMBHALA, by Chogyam Trungpa, pages 26 to 27. Sign up for Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week.


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