A greater sense of possibility ~ 17th Karmapa

Determining who we are or how we are doing in life by comparing ourselves to others will never give us a stable or reliable measure of our well-being, because comparative judgments always shift based on who we are comparing ourselves to. We do not need to live our lives measuring ourselves against external standards set for us by others. We do not need to limit ourselves to those options. When we view who we are on the model of interconnectedness, we know that we are no single thing — not a fixed or bounded identity. The options for who we can become are as boundless as the number of points in an open network. Since we are related to all other points, we can strengthen our connections and grow in any directions. We can set our own course in life.

I feel that seeing ourselves as interdependent rather than as separate individuals is more productive because it offers more opportunities for freedom. We do not need to define ourselves by how we stand up to an endlessly moving external measure. Individuality gives a sense of restriction. Interdependence gives a greater sense of possibility.

17th Karmapa

from the book Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society

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