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Volume 4  No 2

From the Editor

Being a better person
By Dr Lim Thiam Beng



THE FAMOUS English philosopher, Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), wrote, 'Most people are not rich; many people are not born good-natured; many people have uneasy passions which make a quiet and well-regulated life seem intolerably boring; health is a blessing which no one can be sure of preserving; marriage is not invariably a source of bliss. For all these reasons, happiness must be, for most men and women, an achievement rather than a gift of the gods.' It must give us a lot of comfort to note that when we are logical in our analysis of life in this world, we can always trace the true answers to what the Buddha taught. Russell's observation is one such analysis. Happiness, bliss and blessings are not gifts from somewhere. We have to work at it, and surely the earlier the better it is.

Learning and practising Buddhism is really about our determination to be a better person. It is not about trying to be better than anybody else is. For example, when we constantly observe the precepts, then we stay out of trouble, and we maintain our dignity and our well being. When we are constantly able to see through to the bottom of the many issues that arise in our life, are able to let go and have no attachments, then we are care-free and liberated. Thus, in this way we enhance the quality of our life. Otherwise, we will be filled with all kinds of worries and aversions that entrap us deep in the bottomless sea of suffering.

The Buddha's teachings are boundless and so are human beings. Within the contents of this issue of the Digest, I hope that you will find the inspiration and guidance to a better life, both for you and those around you.

May Buddha be with you, may brightness be with you.


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Copyright 2001. Jen Chen Buddhism Centre