But as we follow a spiritual practice, it must be something based on reality; whatever sort of path it is, it has to be in accordance with reality. Therefore, you must understand how things can change and how things can develop and can get better or worse. A path must be based on a valid cognition through which you can know in a logical way the nature of truth. As such in Buddhism, it is not like you must believe what the Buddha taught. It is not necessary to believe in that way. You just need to use your complete intellect, your wisdom and whatever skills and methods you have to examine the Buddha’s teachings.
So, you bear the responsibility of creating a better world for you to live in or one that is sad and frustrating. It is within you. At the same time, when you have become more perfected, you would have the responsibility and capability to help make life happier and more peaceful for your family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, the community and so forth. This is reality. We Buddhists are not making this up. It is not just something that we believe in. It is the reality as we have seen throughout history. When there is somebody who is very capable, positive and virtuous – for example a kind and compassionate king – then there is always prosperity and happiness. And when there is a negative person ruling, then there are problems. Similarly, within a small group or a family, each and every individual is responsible for his or her own life and the world. As such, be mindful at all times, watch your body, speech and mind whenever possible, try to avoid negativities and do what is virtuous. Whatever that is worthwhile, useful and beneficial to all sentient beings is what we bring into our practice.
If you are kind, loving and caring everybody appreciates it and any person can accept it. If we want to experience peace, joy and happiness, we have to cultivate certain qualities of the mind. Even during these times of uncertainty, when we are hit by a bad economy, so long as one knows how to maintain one’s mind to be in the positive state of calm and peace, then you won’t find problems with the world. Peace in one’s mind, peace in the world.