By Stewart Lee, thalidomide survivor and current Vice Chair of the Thalidomide Society
Those who know me personally will know that my life has been touched by Buddhism. I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you about it and how it has changed my outlook, how I regard and approach other people, in a very positive way.
The word Bodhi means “to awaken” or “enlighten” and refers to a different awareness of life. Buddhism is a belief system and a philosophy, a way of thinking that is tolerant of all other religions and beliefs. Buddhism will never preach or try to convert, just explain if an explanation is asked for.
A simple fact of life is that we all suffer. Buddhism says we can relieve this suffering by not clinging on to things that will only bring us short term happiness. We seem to chase things to get what we want and, if we don’t get them, we feel upset, discontented or even angry. It makes no sense to crave things that will invariable makes us unhappy.
Buddhism helps us to cultivate a peaceful mind, encourages us not to discriminate or feel anger and to be more tolerant, patient and self-aware of all people.
I try to cultivate a peaceful mind every day, sometimes this is not easy but when it works, my relationships with people, my friendships and my outlook are so much nicer and more peaceful. If everybody strived or even just began to think a little about this way, I know for sure, this world would be a lovelier place for us all.
I love the saying “World Peace Starts with Me.”
Thank you for reading this I hope it has inspired you, even in a very small way.