Tales of kindness and understanding from the Dalai Lama.
The authors—Chan previously co-wrote The Wisdom of Forgiveness (2004) with the Dalai Lama—bring forth numerous stories of empathy and consideration that they have personally witnessed. Believing that a person's goal in life is to be happy, and that the causes of unhappiness are primarily internal bouts of anger, attachment and ignorance, the Dalai Lama has spent more than 50 years practicing and promoting his wisdom to millions of people around the world. From watching the Dalai Lama interact with young children with serious illnesses to recording the wise words of his good friend, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Chan portrays a rarely seen, intimate side of the Dalai Lama, whose life is full of wit and lightheartedness balanced by wisdom and compassion. Regardless of religious beliefs, readers will gain a deeper understanding of human nature and our capacity to show consideration and benevolence to those around us as they follow Chan and the Dalai Lama on a global tour. “For the Dalai Lama,” writes Chan, “compassion and wisdom are the fundamental building blocks of society. In our homes and in our schools, he believes, we should systematically nurture a culture of warmheartedness, a culture of kindness. They are essential elements, critical to having a happy life.” The first place this bond of compassion is formed is when a baby nurses on her mother's milk; as such, women are by nature compassionate "life-givers." Throughout, the authors’ message is uplifting, if occasionally repetitive and not always wholly convincing.
Although readers may not be able to spend five hours a day in meditation and prayer like the Dalai Lama, they will come away with a better sense of the importance of communication, forgiveness and empathy, regardless of the circumstances.