January 8, 2012
"My way of thinking is completely different," he says. "I have no such mountains to scale; basically, I find that living itself is a struggle, and if I'm satisfied, if I have just done that, lived well, in the evening I sigh and say, 'It was okay.'"
"Do you have bad days?"
"Yes, but it's important to put them in the perspective of insignificance. Even if you have achieved great things, it is a sort of theatre playing in your mind. You think it is so important, but actually you have not made a difference to anyone's life."
"So you're saying, Karma, that both our greatest achievements and our greatest failures are equally insignificant?"
"Yes. We like to think we really made a difference. Okay, in the week's scale it may have been interesting. Take another forty years, I'm not so sure. Take three generations, and you will be forgotten without a trace."
"And you find this a source of comfort? I find it terribly depressing."
"No, as we say in Buddhism, there is nothing greater than compassion. If you have done something good, then in the moment you should feel satisfaction. I used to kill many flies and mosquitoes every day because they give me some fear of malaria, but sometimes I don't do that. I have a moment of pause and think, 'Well, he is not harming me, not directly threatening me. He is defenseless. Why am I crushing it? So then I release it, and there is a moment - it is an insignificant act, I know - but there is a moment of genuine peace. I just let it go."
Conversation between Karma Ura and (author) Eric Weiner, The Geography of Bliss