Turn on the radio or read the newspaper and you're confronted with misfortunes and bad news. Surely we all are sorry to hear of others' misfortunes. As we explore ethical conduct, we must investigate how we might help. Considering the misfortunes of the world, are all such tribulations avoidable?
Adversity is a fact of life. To examine how we can affect our lives and that of others, it's important to distinguish between events beyond human control and those we create or influence.
Natural events such as hurricanes, floods, drought, and earthquakes are beyond our control. On the other hand war, violence, poverty, social injustice, political oppression, and crime are all the result of human behavior.
We all are. We all contribute to our daily diet of unhappy news.
People from all walks of life work to do so. People join groups to fight poverty, struggle for social justice or care for the needy. In 2005 we saw thousands of people come to the aid of the victims of a tsunami, flooding in New Orleans and the Himalayan earthquake. This demonstrates a human intuition.
We are all, according to our own understanding and in our own way, trying to make the world — or at least our bit of it — a better place for us to live in.
How then, the Dalai Lama asks, are we to affect such societal problems such as violence, crime and addiction? Although technology advancements are constantly being made, they do not appear to have much affect.
What's missing and what is what is needed, Dalai Lama suggests, is ethical restraint. External technology can never affect, by itself, human ills. But with inner discipline, we can solve human problems.