Home » Excerpts » Democracy with Freedom, Compassion & Wisdom

The only ‘restrictions’
that lead to greater freedom
are the [moral] precepts.

– Stonepeace

A democratic system based on freedom [and on compassion and concern for the well-being of all those within its scope] is, in my view, the only system that can bring us our collective happiness without risking a serious abuse of power. Here I am talking about functioning democracies, not one-party democracies or one-leader-forever democracies or democracies where the country is in a state of chaos. A real democracy creates checks and balances within the government, so that if a leader is found to have bad motivation or be incompetent, the system can counter the problem. It makes the government aware that its task is to serve the people, not the other way round, and to act responsibly in the process.

A democracy has the added advantage of being able to hold public debates in which everyone is free to express his or her opinion. As a result, people are better informed and are free from manipulation or coercion by the government. The Buddha attached great significance to freedom and emphasized the importance of free choice and responsibility. The Buddha repeatedly stressed the importance of discipline; he believed that only through discipline can we free ourselves from negative thoughts and emotions. In other words, discipline [and wisdom] is the key to making the right decisions.

The Leader’s Way: The Art of Making the Right Decisions in Our Careers, Our Companies, and the World at Large
by H. H the Dalai Lama & Laurens Van Den Muyzenberg
Get it at Awareness Place shops or Amazon

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