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Human Beings Are "Social Animal"

Part of Dalai Lama talk on "The Centrality of Compassion in Human Life and Society" which was delivered in Stanford University on 14 October 2010.

In today’s world the reality, Dalai Lama thinks it is no longer the concept of "We and They". Entire population of the world of 7 Billions Human Being as part of "We".

This is because, our individual future depends on "Them". For ones interest, we have to think the entire planet and the whole humanity.

Unlike ancient time... where the concept of "We and They" was very strong. Dalai Lama thinks that interest of individual was more or less independent. There were constant wars.. the destruction of "They" becomes a victory of "We". This kind of concept of "We and They" are out-of-date as the new reality that idea of separation or gap is getting much smaller.

Dalai Lama said that we, Human Beings, were created as a social animal.

Also in the words of Aristotle, 384 BC, "Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god."

Like any other social animal, in order to survive we need "Cooperation" or sense of community is very essential. Dalai Lama observed the tiny animal (ants, bees), they have no religious faith, no constitution, no government... but they worked together! Because nature created such that their individual survival depended on such a community. So we, Human Beings, are also social animal. The ultimate factor... to bring people together is warmheartedness and genuine cooperation, people working together with sense of responsibility to take care of our common interest.

Unity and friendship is very important.

Friendship from power and friendship from money are artificial friendship.

Real friendship is from trust. Trust comes from openness, transparent, honest.

So as social animal, real friendship and one community is essential.

On the opposite end of the spectrum: If one has too strong self centered attibute, then there is a possible for that individual cheat other, to bully other, exploit other. With this kind of mental attibute, it will be difficult to speak trufully. Cultivate hippocricy - smile but different kind of motivation. On such basis, that individual cannot develop trust.

So open heartness and real sense of concern of general well being of others. Therefore human being as a social animal - our fundamental success and happiness depends on compassionate motivation.

A compassionate motivation is the foundation of spiritual practice, like a seed. When we are motivated by compassion and wisdom, the results of our actions benefit everyone, not just our individual selves or some immediate convenience. When we are able to recognize and forgive ignorant actions of the past, we gain strength to constructively solve the problems of the present.

Updated On: 12.12.21