Compassionate Integrity Training Final CIT training manual 11-30 - Page 58

Compa ssionate Integrit y Tr a ining A S e cu l a r Ethic s A ppr oac h to C ulti vat ing Pe rs on al, S o ci al and E n vir on me n tal F lo u r i shing always receiving good service, living in the best places, compassion. It is not that wealth, pleasure, praise or status having the best cars or possessions, only eating the best are inherently bad and we should not seek them at all. There food. However, this is unrealistic. In reality, the more we is no question that they play a role in our happiness and try to achieve happiness by controlling everything in the well-being. The real question is how much of a role. How external world, the more we will meet with frustration, invested should we be in seeking them as genuine causes disappointment and unhappiness. It’s natural to want to of happiness? It is when this craving — a mental state — avoid annoying people, but it just isn’t practical. Although becomes too strong and too distorted that we begin to have it may seem more difficult at first, a better strategy is to problems. We lose sight of the fact that our inner qualities transform one’s own mind and cultivate patience, learning are more important and are better guarantees of happiness to deal with adversity and beginning to see those annoying and well-being. We lose our sense of equanimity, a balanced people and circumstances as slightly less annoying. This state of mind where we are not overly-invested in either builds resilience, and gradually we begin to see that circum- achieving or avoiding these concerns. This loss of balance stances or persons we found difficult to tolerate are now is a major source of dissatisfaction. much more manageable. By working on our own mental states or internal way of looking at the world and ourselves, we have a much better shot at achieving lasting happiness. Research in psychology speaks of being on the hedonic treadmill, where we continuously chase after money, status, pleasure and praise in an endless loop that leaves us needing In the last module, we discussed potentially harmful and more and more with less and less actual satisfaction. 51 beneficial mental states. That knowledge supports self- Moreover, investing overly in external circumstances for one’s happiness can lead to compromising one’s integrity. Here are a few examples for reflection: 1. I really want my boss to recognize me for being an excellent employee. If I lose equanimity and want this recognition badly enough, it could lead me to take credit for something that I didn’t actually do. This is an example of how being so attached to praise and external rewards can lead down a path of unethical behavior. 2. I am terrified of running out of money, despite the fact that I am a wealthy individual. This fear drives me to cheat on my tax returns, so that I do not have to pay as much to the government. At the same time I am breaking the law, I am also cheating someone else out of money they may need to receive through a government program. This is an example of how attachment to wealth and aversion to loss can lead down the path of unethi cal behavior. Ce n t e r for Compa s sion , I nteg r i t y and S e cu l ar E t hics | L ife Uni ve rsi t y | M ar ie t ta, G e or g i a - 52 -