Sometimes I get asked what I recommend as a way to engage with people who do not know anything about Buddhism.
I mean, of course, first of all, whether you are speaking to Buddhists or non-Buddhists, if you want to be helpful, you should live your life to be an example. Simply, who you are being should be an inspiration.
If you are a shining example of loving-kindness, patience, gratitude, humility, and the initiative to help others in the most stressful situations, that already would be like: “Wow, what does that person have that I do not have?”
“I want to know why she or he is so happy all the time.”
“Why is she or he giving the best of herself?”
So, that way of being is going to create curiosity.
You cannot impose your perception on somebody, “Oh, you know, you should do this, like this. It is going to be beneficial for you. It is good for you. I am trying to help you!”
Then, if they do not listen, you are going to get angry. “I intended to help them. They do not appreciate my help”
You know, right? It does happen a lot like that. It happens to me.
I get frustrated with my mother, sometimes. I try to talk to her. She just turns everything around against me. I am like, “What am I doing?” I get upset. Afterward, I understand the process of what just occurred. So, in the end, she helps me to see that part of me. She helps me to see that pride in me.
Just because I intend to help, if the other person does not appreciate it, I get hurt. Why? If my intention was really to help, I would not be affected if they do not understand. If my intention was truly pure, if they do not care what I have to say, I would still be even-minded, right? If my intention was pure.
In reality, my intention was not only just to help. My intention was, also, to look good. I intend to feel good about myself. I wanted to be like, “Oh, I am so cool, so important. I’m helping people to improve their lives.”
So, in that case, my intention is not unconditional. It is not pure. It is not the actual, true, altruistic motivation, you know.
So, talking is good but I think the example is really what will help people. Then, if people ask you a question, you can offer an answer.
The fact is, many times, people do not want to hear you try to help them with your words. Of course, if they ask for help, that is different. So, in the long run, it is going to be much more productive if you are a constant living example. Otherwise, you may get frustrated if you try to force your words at someone.
So, if someone asks for help, just be simple. Speak simply. Get to the basics. Everybody wants to be happy.
So, what is the key to being happy?
Gratitude being the first step.
The second step is compassion.
The third step will be motivation. I am not talking about a self-centered, egoist motivation. I am talking about altruism.
Everybody can relate to these three. They help a lot.
If you want to help others regardless of whether they are Buddhist or non-Buddhist, you should strive to cultivate these three qualities in your mind so you are a living example. You can do it. I know.