Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why We Must Care

A sense of responsibility towards all others also means

that both as individuals and as a society of individuals,

we have a duty to care for each member of our society.

This is true irrespective of their physical capacity or of their

capacity for mental reflection. Just like ourselves, such people have

a right to happiness and to avoid suffering. We must therefore avoid,

at all cost, the urge to shut away those who are grievously afflicted

as if they were a burden. The same goes for those who are diseased or

marginalized. To push them away would be to heap suffering on suffering.

If we ourselves were in the same condition, we would look to others for help.

We need, therefore, to ensure that the sick and afflicted person never

feels helpless, rejected or unprotected. Indeed, the affection

we show to such people is, in my opinion, the measure of

our spiritual health, both at the level of the

individual and at that of society.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama,
Ancient Wisdom, Modern World: Ethics for the New Millennium, at p. 176

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