The Trouble with Liking Winners

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Some people get burnt out. “I have done enough, but no matter what I do it is never good enough.” True, it is never enough, because the desire of the individual is so strong. If you give an inch they want a yard and if you give a yard they want a mile. For sure, this is because of the human greed. But at the same time if you really have compassion coming from love or influenced by love you will not get burned out. If you go deeper into the Buddhist teachings they will tell you that even for the sake of one single individual, “if you have to go to the hell realm for eons, don’t be sad. Develop compassion.” That is rather extreme for us, maybe too far – a long shot. However, little things – why not? That tells us that our compassion is not really genuine compassion. To us it is a secondary activity. If everything I need to do for myself is done it is fine. If I have a little extra money, a little extra time, I will be happy to do it. That is limited compassion. I don’t think anyone is seeking limited compassion – neither you nor the receiver. We develop compassion because we want to be the good one, the right one, the winner. No one will say, “I am not compassionate.” Somehow people like compassion. Particularly we, the Americans, like to be on the side of the winners.

–Gelek Rimpoche
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