Why should we cherish others? Why should we take the Bodhisattva vow and perform the various Bodhisattva practices to benefit other beings? What have others ever done for me?!
(d) Because other beings allow us to practice patience, loving kindness, universal compassion, and develop other good qualities. Without the manager at work who always speaks over you, the difficult neighbour, the argumentative sibling, there would be no basis for practice. It would just be me sitting on my cushion thinking happy thoughts. The real practice comes when I am faced with difficult people, that is when the positive karma is created, that is when I can break the negative patterns of behaviour that I have followed in innumerable past lives.
(e) Because others are living in an ugly world of war and hunger, dictators and civil war, corporate tyrants and slaves, little prized higher than money and cosmetic appearances, and incredible expectations. Would it really hurt me to be a bit nicer to other people?! Couldn’t I make interactions with me a just little bit more pleasant to improve other peoples’ day just a little bit?! If other people were more happy then how beautiful would the world become?!
(f) Because no good comes from self-cherishing. In-terms of karmic results, no good comes from actions that come from a “self-centred” or “me first” motivation. His Holiness describes how there are inevitably negative karmic results from this self-cherishing motivation. In this way we actually harm ourselves and His Holiness describes this as “foolish selfishness”. Instead, His Holiness describes the “wise selfishness” motivation of cherishing others. Because cherishing others inevitably creates positive karma for yourself and we abide by our Bodhisattva vows.
(g) Because it pleases His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Bodhisattvas, and the Buddhas when we cherish others. It also pleases my teachers when I put their instruction into practice, it makes their day.