Helping Others, Better Yourself
In the Agama Sutra, the Buddha taught that sentient beings were different in terms of intelligence, wealth, lifespan and appearance; and that the cause of these differences is karma from our own past lives. So how can we better ourselves given this precondition? The answer is to cultivate an altruistic mind and to act in the best way possible toward others.
From my point of view, in order to better oneself, one needs to decrease the thoughts of benefiting oneself and to increase the concern for others’ benefits. In this way, one can promote life motivation and better oneself in all aspects. On the contrary, if one cares only about oneself rather than others’ well-being, with this kind of attitude, whatever benefit one gains can probably cause a loss of ethics and morality.
For this reason, in order to improve ourselves, we need to have an altruistic mind and benefit others unconditionally. If we are not able to achieve this currently, we should at least try to help others as much as we can in our daily life. Based on that, all our behaviors as well as our lives will make a difference. Otherwise, a narrow and selfish mind can only bring all kinds of sufferings to our family and friends. Therefore, with an open, inclusive mind and a sincere intention to help others, even if we have to face sufferings caused by others, we can be much stronger and braver. Moreover, all kinds of complaints from others indeed can become favorable causal conditions for our practice and will be the best way to lead us to success in our lives.