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Wise Selfishness Rather than Foolish Selfishness

Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu together

Credit Miranda Penn Turin

A conversation with the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu on the realization that nothing beautiful comes without some suffering.

From The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams Archbishop, you were talking about how the Dalai Lama has experienced great suffering in his exile. During apartheid, you and your country experienced great suffering, too. And even in your personal life, you’ve dealt with prostate cancer—you’re dealing with it now. Many people, when they get ill, don’t feel very joyful. You’ve been able to maintain that joy in the face of suffering. How have you been able to do it? Well, I have certainly been helped by many other people. One of the good things is realizing that you are not a solitary cell. You are part of a wonderful community. That’s helped very greatly. As we were saying, if you are setting out to be joyful, you are not going to end up being joyful. You’re going to find yourself turned in on yourself. It’s like a flower. You open, you blossom, really because of other people. And I think some suffering, maybe even intense suffering, is a necessary ingredient for life, certainly for developing comp …

Adapted from THE BOOK OF JOY: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams, published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2016 by The Dalai Lama Trust, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams.

This entry is tagged with:
InterviewsBook ExcerptsDalai LamaDesmond TutuWisdom

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