I am trying to read a book on the Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World by Daniel Goleman. It’s not going very well…

Though I found a few nuggets early on.

One of the Dalai Lama’s morning routine is to listen to the BBC. Goleman writes: “The BBC’s litany of human injustices and sufferings has led him to the insight that most tragedies are the result of a single deficiency: a lack of compassionate moral responsibility.”

“Today’s news echoes last year’s, last decade’s, last century’s”

As an escape from this vicious cycle the Dalai Lama sees one solution: the creation of a force for good.

If you want to understand what this means you have to read the rest of the book, although it is not an easy read. I wish the Dalai Lama had written the book himself, as his introduction is brilliant and concise.

“As a human being I acknowledge that my well-being depends on others and caring for others’ well being is a moral responsibility  I take seriously.”

Dalai Lama

Inside Out

A poem

The wintergreen, the juniper, the cornflower and the chicory
The elm, the ash and the linden tree, the dark and deep, enchanted sea
The trembling moon and the stars unfurled
Well there she goes, my beautiful world

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

I don’t know what Nick had in mind with this song, but it resonates with me. Reading the 6th Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert reminded me how little diversity we have at our longitude, despite the apparent wilderness. Then again, how many guests from the city are amazed to see a moose or the tracks of an elk herd or a golden eagle circling in the sky. It’s a precious world we live in, a narrow range of altitude and temperatures that allows us to live comfortably. We live in the midst of a mass extinction, species are disappearing for good every day, some before mankind even got a chance to see them, some we loose by our thirst for land and sea, by our need for resources and our lack of compassion and responsibility. Mass extinctions have happened before, naturally, without us. To put it into perspective: Until 300 years ago, the concept of mass extinction was unknown. Nobody knew that individual species, sometimes millions of individuals would disappear from earth because they could not adapt to changes in their habitat. Nobody knew that 30-80% of all species have disappeared several times in the existence of this planet. Until today, I believe, the general public is not aware of these “catastrophic” events.

If nature can cause mass extinction, why would we care about conservation and diversity? Why do we have national parks and wilderness areas? Why should we care about clean air and water?

Some of us certainly enjoy seeing wildlife in its natural habitat, some of us never get the chance to see a wolverine in the wild, or witness the amazing beauty of a corral reef… Some of us may not even care.

Which poses the question: What do we do as individuals and as a society with this world? Is it ok to simply care about the well-being of our generation? Or should we attempt to conserve what we have for future generations? Simple questions with profound answers. What do you think?

Maybe Nick was in a somber mood, when he wrote his song, or he was a realist, a visionary, anticipating the power of nature and mankind.



“Compassion grows out of the recognition that all sentient beings – friends,enemies, complete strangers – want the same thing. We all want to be happy, and yet again, we act in ways which bring suffering to ourselves, and to others, and through others back to ourselves. Seeing through the superficial differences to this core of sameness is the great equalizer, stripping away the mask of unique personal identity and revealing us one and all as simple, wanting, fearful, hopeful, bewildered beings. It is an enormous daily mental challenge to see Mr Matthew not as my enemy bit simply as my neighbor, wanting exactly what I want, and being mistaken, just like me, about how to get it.”

Jamie Zeppa

Who is Jamie Zeppa, you ask? She wrote a wonderful book about her experience as a school teacher in Bhutan. She fell in love with the country and…

Well, you got to read the rest yourself!