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The Importance of Origin Stories

Making sweeping generalizations about the human experience is never advisable simply because we don't have, and will never have, the full story.

We are nearing 8 billion people on the planet, and that means there are nearly 8 billion variations of the human experience.

The Dalai Lama's great talent is* the ability to speak to the human condition in general terms, and touch the note that is at the shared core of ourselves.

*Intentionally present tense because the Dalai Lama is understood to be an incarnation that passes from one physical manifestation to another, and therefore, is constant and always present.

The basic source of all happiness is a sense of kindness and warm-heartedness towards others. We are all the same as human beings. We are born the same way, we die the same way, and we all want to lead happy lives.
The key to happiness is peace of mind. This is not something that can be bought. Inner peace has to be cultivated by each of us from within. All our religious traditions, despite whatever philosophical differences there may be among them, carry the same message of love and warm-heartedness that is the foundation of such peace of mind.

Read the full message: "The purpose of life is to be happy" by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

On the long road of a single human's life it is likely they will, at some point, be deeply interested in their own origin story. Our origin stories anchor us in the history of the world.

Origin stories also tie us to our community. We find other people's origin stories fascinating, and we don't feel we really know someone until we know where they came from and have a picture of the culture and family from which they came.

An author's work can be interesting to us on its own merits, but once we learn about the author's history and experiences, we have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the meaning of the work.

The author and activist, James Baldwin, was featured on the Google splash screen graphic for the beginning of Black History Month. Part of his biography included a link to "Family Upbringing".

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