It is time to develop a big ’US', rather than the old ’us and them’ that lets us to exploit and bully others on a personal level, and on an international level to wage war. The East must see the West as part of ’US’ and the North must come to feel that the South is part of ’US’. We should include the entire world in our concern, wishing all humanity well. If we can do that there will be no room for hatred, thinking of others as enemies. And we will achieve this through education, not through prayer.
With the ever growing impact of science on our lives, religion and spirituality have a greater role to play reminding us of our humanity. There is no contradiction between the two. Each gives us valuable insights into the other. Both science and the teachings of the Buddha tell us of the fundamental unity of all things.
There is only one important point you must keep in your mind and let it be your guide. No matter what people call you, you are just who you are. Keep to this truth. You must ask yourself how is it you want to live your life. We live and we die, this is the truth that we can only face alone. No one can help us, not even the Buddha.
Everyone can understand from natural experience and common sense that affection is crucial from the day of birth; it is the basis of life. The very survival of our body requires the affection of others, to whom we also respond with affection. Though mixed with attachment, this affection is not based on physical or sexual attraction, so it can be extended to all living beings without bias.