“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” – The Dalai Lama

There are times we miss the bigger picture when we see too many dots in front of us. We choose to uphold aspects of religion we cherish and disregard the ones we are unfamiliar with.

It’s not about the barking dog

Let’s say, as a devout Buddhist, you can recite hundreds of prayers in a day. You visit the temples and you also prostrate for hours at the altar. You are doing everything you think you should be doing. So far, so good. But as the evening nears, a stray dog howls outside.

Now you think that’s a bad omen and it frustrates you that the dog howled in your direction. You go outside and kick the dog for the supposed bad luck you think is coming your way. You chase and curse the yelping animal away. This is how your day ends, and everything seems ordinary.

Always look from another perspective

Now, think of it from another perspective. If someone else were to witness this, what would be their first thought? Is it logical to pray for the wellness of every sentient being in the universe and be unkind to the very sentient being outside your door?

You just undid what you were striving for and you are also unaware of the irony in your actions. Simply praying for the good is not always the answer. Your actions should reflect your words and only then, will good things happen.

The ideal way of living is very simple

You don’t have to delve deep into the holy books to find the ideal way of living based on an ideal set of beliefs. Just a single glance at the world outside will show you what it really needs. And it needs kindness. Even a little kindness goes a long way. If we are kind to one another, the world would be a better place to live in.

Every religion may have different values, but kindness is the essence of it all. You don’t have to know every principle and prayer, you just have to be kind.