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A Force for Good

The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Humanity

By Daniel Goleman
  • Read in 21 minutes
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  • Contains 13 key ideas
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A Force for Good by Daniel Goleman

A Force For Good (2015) reveals how you can swap your negative thoughts for positive actions. By taking a closer look at the Dalai Lama’s wisdom and vision, these blinks explain how individuals acting positively can together form a global force of good, driving change in our world through mutual compassion.

Key idea 1 of 13

A force for good will lead us toward compassionate moral responsibility.

Every day at 5.30 a.m., the Dalai Lama wakes up bright and early to listen to the BBC news while he eats his breakfast. While this might not be the morning routine you imagined for the Dalai Lama, he maintains that through this daily ritual, he’s come upon a great revelation.

Listening to the news reveals how full of violence, cruelty and tragedy our world really is. But why? The Dalai Lama believes it actually comes down to one single deficiency: a lack of compassionate moral responsibility. Today, we act out of self-interest and disregard our moral obligations to others.

Seems quite grim, doesn’t it? But look at this way: if humans have the power to wreak so much damage and destruction, then we might also have the power to exert an equivalent positive impact. This is what the Dalai Lama calls a force for good.

A force for good begins with individuals, and from within them. By creating an inner shift that diminishes our negative emotions and strengthens our capacity to act morally, we become better able to overcome impulsive reactions such as rage, frustration and hopelessness. This shift will also see us become more compassionate to those around us, and to our shared planet.  

Unlike the Dalai Lama, not all of us are able to commit five hours a day to inner practices such as meditation – but we can still take some small steps. The Dalai Lama has fashioned a plan that each individual can follow. It begins with looking inward and managing our own minds and hearts. This will help us look out at our world and see the places where we can do good.

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