A genuine sense of affection ~ 17th Karmapa

The world today is sorely lacking in love, and that lack stems in large part from a failure to appreciate the contributions of others to our well-being. Others did not simply clothe and feed us; they made us who we are as individuals. By training ourselves to recognize the many ways others have contributed to our survival, well-being and our very identity, we can develop a genuine sense of cherishing and affection toward them, and these emotions are conditions for developing a vivid sense of responsibility. As we come to truly understand ourselves as interdependent individuals, responsibility comes to feel and look very different, as we will explore in a later chapter.

If we are successful in internalizing our awareness of interdependence and allowing it to become deeply felt, we can shift our self-perception so as to actually experience the intimate connections that link us constantly to others and to the planet. We will be able to move beyond knowing that we are dependent upon other people and the natural world to feeling an active sense of love and concern for them.

17th Karmapa

from the book Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society

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