So, ethics. I don’t know, ethics, I think ethics for sure. I don’t really know what ethics means. My English is not so good, but I relate it to the moral code like the samurai code—what you would do, what you wouldn’t do, because you know the result of certain things. You’ve experienced them already, so why repeat them? Why keep repeating things that take you to suffering, that take you to making other people suffer, making other people unhappy? Why would you do that if you know the result?
Patience is very important, and patience is not with the other person, it’s with yourself, always. If you were patient with yourself, you would have no problems with anyone. Because it’s so easy to point the finger to someone else, saying, “Oh no, it’s his fault. It’s her fault. They did it. It’s Trump’s fault.” It’s very easy to point the finger and to judge. We love to judge. We love to gossip and criticize so much. It’s like, I don’t know, we get this feeling like, “Oh, who did what? What? Woah. How? What happened? What did they do?” Right? “Oh, really. Oh my god, that’s so horrible. Oh no.”
But, why does it feel so good? Why is it that we are so interested doing that? Because it distracts us from ourselves, makes us feel better about ourselves, because we don’t want to focus on ourselves. We don’t want to see our mistakes. We don’t want to recognize that. That’s why many times we like to criticize other people, point the finger, “It’s their fault.” But no, it’s your fault for losing patience. If you had patience for yourself, nobody could really make you angry.
Humility, the same thing. If you’re humble enough, you wouldn’t let the negative destructive emotions come in, like anger, for example. If you’re humble, you would never get angry. You get angry many times because you’re like, “Oh, it’s unjust. They are so unjust because they said this. They did that. That’s so unjust because they don’t see how hard I’m working, and they don’t appreciate it.” If you’re humble, you wouldn’t have that feeling because you’re really doing it out of genuine [humility] because you choose to do that.
If someone chooses to wash the dishes and then doesn’t get credit for it, why would they get angry? You chose to wash the dishes. Nobody told you to do it, right? Sometimes it happens. That’s just an example. If you think about metaphorically in life, it happens all the time and that’s because we don’t have enough humility to just give unconditionally. We expect something in return because we are too proud. We think, “Oh, I did such an effort. Now, I need the cookie. I want my cookie. Look at me. I want you to be like, ‘Good boy!’”
Look, for example, at dogs. Sometimes I feel like animals are a really good way of seeing the good qualities in ourselves, like a dog, for example. You can tell them to fetch all the time and they’ll always be happy. They’re happy. They don’t expect you to give them a prize. They will wag their tails the same way whether you give them a prize or not. By the third time they fetch or by the third time they sit, they won’t be like, “Grr, where is my cookie? Grr.” Would they do that? I don’t know. Maybe some dogs do that. I’m not sure. The dogs, for example, they’re so loyal. They really have this genuine empathy and gratefulness.
Humans throughout history have always learned from animals, from nature. It’s interesting how dances, martial arts, medicine, many different things like that, we’ve learned it from the habits of animals. It’s good to observe. We can learn about ourselves by observing the outside world, and every moment is an opportunity to learn. Every moment is, we can really use it in a positive way, even though it looks negative. So, humility, compassion.
Compassion is so important. If we have compassion, then we have no problems. If we have compassion for ourselves, we have compassion for everybody else. How would the problems appear? When they appeared, we would have compassion and through compassion, we can really transform them. Compassion is so important because without compassion we are lost. We can have all the information in the world, we can have all the wisdom in the universe, but without compassion how are we going to use it? It’s completely useless, so that’s why it’s very important to have the wisdom but also the method, and the compassion would be the method. That’s what we’re trying to do.
Many times, we are scared of being vulnerable, so we don’t show those inner qualities because somehow society, the individualistic way of thinking, has created that kind of way of thinking, of being defensive about yourself. And the American dream is what? Becoming rich and having everything you want? Then what? Then you want a private jet, then you want an island, then you want a country, and then what? Look at Trump. He’s already got a country and what’s next? Huh?
For example, many of us like to judge and criticize Trump, but do we have compassion for him? I don’t know. Maybe not so much, right? If you think about maybe the karma he’s creating, do you think he sleeps peacefully at night? I don’t know. Have you seen him really smile genuinely? Not much, he smirks, kind of. Really, we should have compassion for him because maybe he’s not aware of the cause he’s doing, the cause, what he’s creating. The result is going to be pure suffering for him. Why? Because of the motivation. Maybe he does have some genuine motivation. I’m sure he does. I’m sure he’s got the motivation to help people improve their lives in a materialistic way, probably, and meanwhile get richer maybe. I’m not sure. Make his friends richer? I’m not sure about that, but I’m sure he’s got some positive motivation.
The motivation is so important, karmically so important. Without the right motivation, it’s difficult in life, so always to have the motivation. That’s why mind, speech, body; the mind is so important, so powerful.