Reaction & Chapter 14: Dealing with Anxiety and Building Self Esteem The Dali Lama's Art of Happiness book is to put it simply, a book that offers simplifying your life as the main route to happiness. To me it preaches that we all should be focused on one goal in life and that is to find happiness. I find the Dali Lama's stance on human nature to be incredibly interesting. His statement that humans are naturally kind and compassionate goes against all that I have been programmed to believe in my life. In my own thoughts on human nature, I concluded that humans are no better than instinctual animals giving into our drives and desires. We are born egotistical, only focused on one thing: to satisfy our wants and needs. I found the Dali Lama's take on a newborn child's perspective to be different, simplistic, and yet refreshing.
His belief that a child's innate nature is one of compassion and love because the child is programmed with one purpose in mind: the purpose of bringing pleasure and joy to others. I would agree with many of the Dali Lama's statements on improving happiness by reanalysis of our nature and goals and focusing more on helping others and less on material goods. I find this process tougher than he assumes as western society as a whole is barraged with the social message that Happiness=$$$$ and that the final winner is the man or woman who attains the most riches before death. These messages are laced throughout the entire body of American Culture going straight to the bone. We take the basis of our government from John Locke who stated that humans have certain inalienable rights such as the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of property.