Everyone wants to be happy. But why do our constant struggles to make ourselves happy so often lead to frustration, or even depression? In seeking happiness for ourselves alone we become self-centred, caught up in a claustrophobic state of mind, where we not only end up not being happy but there’s no end to problems, we shirk our responsibilities and blame others. Cherishing ourselves is supposed to make us happy, but it actually makes things worse. On the other hand, by thinking of others, cherishing others and working for the benefit of others, our own welfare is taken care of as a matter of course.
Cherishing others doesn’t mean that we should care for others at the exclusion of ourselves. We also need to love ourselves. This is very important. The Buddha said, ‘Whoever loves himself will never harm another.’ It is when we don’t love ourselves that we harm others. By moving beyond self-cherishing we can begin to truly love ourselves, in an enlightened way, and bring benefit to the world.