Dalai Lama: Behind Our Anxiety, the Fear of Being Unneeded
By H.H. The Dalai Lama and ARTHUR C. BROOKS NOV. 4, 2016 NYTimes OpEd
This elegant op-ed piece is like a strong tonic, needed to build up the rather dismal attitude of so many, particularly persons who are elderly, that they are not needed anymore. The result of research is that people who do not feel needed die prematurely. And if they survive, they do not feel joy in every day.
How do we counter this dangerous feeling? We choose to help others. We choose to do what we can – even if that is limited – to bring compassion and forgiveness and courage to this busy world. It has to work both days. I recall my own aunts reaching exhaustion by trying to take care of everyone else’s needs and not attending to their own real, legitimate needs for comfort, rest, appreciation …. an occasional cup of tea.
As we approach those years when it is harder to do everything we used to do, or harder to do very strenuous tasks, it is wonderful and just and perfect to know that others share their love and compassion with us.
Starting the day by offering a word of thanks for yet another opportunity to help, we may decide what gift we can bring to the holiday tree of humanity and all living things. I think I will start with using my ability to smile, to share a word of encouragement, to phone a friend. It seems so easy once you realize that each one of us is most precious, very much needed, and a recipient of loving gratitude.