economic development

Harmonising economic development with spiritual growth

It is my firm belief that in order to solve human problems in all their dimensions, we must combine and harmonise economic development with spiritual growth.
By

In religion, there are no national boundaries. A religion can and should be used by any people or person who finds it beneficial. What is important for each seeker is to choose a religion that is most suitable to himself or herself. But, the embracing of a particular religion does not mean the rejection of another religion or one’s own community. In fact, it is important that those who embrace a religion should not cut themselves off from their own society; they should continue to live within their own community and in harmony with its members. By escaping from your own community, you cannot benefit others, whereas benefiting others is actually the basic aim of religion.

In this regard, there are two things important to keep in mind: self-examination and self-correction. We should constantly check our attitude toward others, examining ourselves carefully, and we should correct ourselves immediately when we find we are in the wrong.

Finally, a few words about material progress. I have heard a great deal of complaints against material progress from Westerners, and yet, paradoxically, it has been the very pride of the Western world. I see nothing wrong with material progress per se, provided people are always given precedence. It is my firm belief that in order to solve human problems in all their dimensions, we must combine and harmonise economic development with spiritual growth.

However, we must know its limitations. Although materialistic knowledge in the form of science and technology has contributed enormously to human welfare, it is not capable of creating lasting happiness. In America, for example, where technological development is perhaps more advanced than in any other country, there is still a great deal of mental suffering. This is because materialistic knowledge can only provide a type of happiness that is dependent upon physical conditions. It cannot provide happiness that springs from inner development independent of external factors.

For renewal of human values and attainment of lasting happiness, we need to look to the common humanitarian heritage of all nations the world over. May this essay serve as an urgent reminder lest we forget the human values that unite us all as a single family on this planet.

I have written the above lines to tell my constant feeling. Whenever I meet even a ‘foreigner’, I have always the same feeling: I am meeting another member of the human family. This attitude has deepened my affection and respect for all beings. May this natural wish be my small contribution to world peace. I pray for a more friendly, more caring, and more understanding human family on this planet. To all who dislike suffering, who cherish lasting happiness—this is my heartfelt appeal.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso is the spiritual leader of Tibet. Since taking asylum in India in 1959, His Holiness has become a global advocator of peace, compassion and happiness. He is the first Nobel Laureate to be recognised for his concern for global environmental problems.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Name

Email

INTERESTED IN
Happiness
Wellbeing
Conversations
Travel Diaries
Guest Contributors
Spiritual Leaders
Thought Leaders
Books
Short Stories
Love
Relationships
Family
Motivation
Life Lessons