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Ethics for a Whole World

by Dalai Lama

Pub Date: Dec. 6th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-547-63635-1
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The Dalai Lama (A Profound Mind: Cultivating Wisdom in Everyday Life, 2011, etc.) proposes an ethical approach to a happier existence that transcends religion.

While discussing the breakdown of organized religion, His Holiness acknowledges that “although humans can manage without religion, they cannot manage without inner values.” He begins by discussing his views in a secular manner: “I offer my thoughts not as a Buddhist, nor as a religious believer, but simply as one human being among nearly seven billion others, who cares about the fate of humanity and wants to do something to safeguard and improve its future.” He successfully utilizes anecdotes about life experiences and observations that help deepen the meaning of his insights. His sincerity is often engaging and reveals his own limitations, such as when he writes of a mother who stayed loyally awake all night on an airplane to soothe her children before confessing he could never be equally patient. In the second half, the author focuses on how to integrate his beliefs into everyday life. He thoroughly discusses obstacles that can get in the way and how to overcome them through emotional awareness. He warns that “ignoring or suppressing emotion can actually aggravate the problem and make them intensify, at which point, like a swollen river bursting its banks, they will find expression in all kinds of unexpected negative thoughts and behavior.”

An impressive guide for teaching religious tolerance and respect to readers of all ages.