Promoting a Loving Heart
Khenpo Sodargye has proposed a project, which he calls, “Promoting a Loving Heart”, whose purpose is to encourage people to protect animals and show concern for groups of disadvantaged people. A fundamental concept of Buddhism is the equality between humans and animals and the cultivation of an altruistic mind toward the needy. Thus, we should incorporate those practices into our daily lives.
We know you have proposed the “Promoting a Loving Heart” Project to encourage people to protect animals and show concern for disadvantaged groups. Since you have visited many countries, met many people and experienced many things, do you have any special experiences related to this project?
Actually I have been freeing captive animals for a long time. It is very important to protect animals. Nowadays, a lot of people consider living beings’ flesh as nothing more than a kind of food and seldom consider the great pain that animals experience when they are being killed cruelly. People eat a lot of animals every day without ever thinking of those animals’ feelings. Perhaps only when we human beings are eaten by other living beings can we realize that life is precious.
Then later I thought that not only animals suffer from pain and need our help, but many human beings need care and love too. A person with great wealth and power may live happily and have money to burn for his entire life. But he may have neglected those who cannot afford food and clothing or education. Yesterday, I asked some people here if there are Singaporeans who can hardly afford a university education. They told me that those who can enter the university will not have such a problem.
Unfortunately, I have seen such difficulties in many other places. I can never forget that I met a boy who couldn’t go to school about five years ago, because his family was very poor. With a helpless and sad look, he sobbed out his difficulties to me. I helped him with the tuition and he’s now found a job. What happened so many years ago has always stayed in my memory. When a person needs help, the look in his eyes expresses something beyond description. But except for a few people, no one notices this. We focus so much on our own success that we seldom have concern for others.
When we were in Cambodia a few days ago, we visited some slums and orphanages. I have been to many big cities, but have no special feelings for them. But when I went to the poor places, I had a strong feeling and was so astonished that such poor people lived in this world and I wondered what we could do to help them. I do hope that those present will care about the animals as well as the poor people in the world.