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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Give Something Back

Recently I've been in several discussions about the practice of celebrities showing up at disasters or adopting children or starting foundations, and then saying, "I just want to give something back."

Reactions to this amongst my friends run from admiration to cynicism.

But the fact is, we've all been given more than we deserve. We all are obliged to "give something back" to our families, our teachers, our communities, our nations.

And yes, to those in immense need.

Let's take a page, though, from the Bodhisattva Practice. This does not look at "the other" with pity; rather, it sees the other as oneself, and recognizes that in "giving back" we are in fact giving to all sentient beings (including ourselves). There is no glory in that; it is just what any mindful person would do.

So do it. Give something back.

You'll be happier.

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