I read Ancient Wisdom, Modern World: Ethics for the New Millennium by His Holiness the Dalai Lama some 4 or 5 months back yet His Holiness’ lessons still leave a mark on me today. I won’t try to sum it up, certainly not several months after having read it, but I can leave you with the one teaching that has made the most difference for me in my life.
That teaching is the importance of brotherly love. That is to say that you cannot truly love anyone if you do not find brotherly love for everyone. By recognizing the universal truth that everything and all beings are connected then you must accept that the person you love most is apart of everyone and thus a little bit of him or her exists within even the most alien of strangers therefore you must learn to identify that which you love within each being before you. And the inability to do so perhaps means that you do not truly love at all.
Keeping that in mind I set out on my daily life to find pieces of who I love the most (she will remain unnamed here) within those I found the most difficult to like, never mind love! I cannot say it was easy, but it can be done, and in doing so I found that my difficult relationships with these people whom I am naturally opposed to became if not friendly, at least comfortable and kind. That alone was worth my effort.
I can also say that by recognizing pieces of the person I love most within others I have in some way begun to love her even more!
Pick up Ancient Wisdom, Modern Ethics. I speak to only one lesson within its pages. There is much, much more wisdom to be shared within.