Reducing our suffering

The second of three pieces of wisdom from a ground-breaking book, The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World. The New York Times bestseller is the product of the deep friendship between the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. Along with author Douglas Abrams, it attempts to blend contemplative wisdom and modern science.

Aligning with the suffering of others decreases our own suffering.

Many people have colds at this time of year and it can be tempting to give in to low mood, self-centredness and despair. But if we simply be mindful of others who are spluttering, coughing and throbbing with headaches it actually makes us feel a little better. This is also an incentive for getting involved in charity work: whether this means dropping a few coins in a bucket for the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul or chatting with a homeless person on the street it all helps to reduce our own suffering.