‘Happiness is a way of life’: Best-selling author

World-renowned author opens landmark summit with plea for compassion and altruism

Staff Report
18:47 February 11, 2018
Matthieu Ricard, philosopher and best-selling author of books on happiness and compassion.

Dubai: When we make happiness a way of life, that's when we can really help change the world.

The way to happiness one of the sessions tackled at the on-going 6th edition of the World Government Summit 2018 in Dubai.

Matthieu Ricard, philosopher and best-selling author of books on happiness and compassion, inaugurated the summit's first day by bringing to the assembled audience this important point.

Compassion, altruism

For one, he urged his listeners to consider a more compassionate and altruistic approach to daily life for the benefit of society and the world.

Leading the audience in a guided meditation session, Ricard inspired them with true-life stories about how loving-kindness meditation and altruism can trigger real change in the world.

Addressing the world’s most urgent challenges — climate change, economic inequality and social injustice — he added that altruism is a pragmatic answer to the pressing issues of the 21st century.

“In the short term, it allows for caring economics," he said. 'In the medium term it can reduce inequalities and address social injustice. And in the long term, it will allow future generations to care for the eight million species on our planet."

Qualitative life

He pointed out that the planet is in urgent need of a strategy that focuses on a qualitative life — one that achieves sustainable harmony.

This, he said, can be done by remedying inequalities and achieving social justice, as well as "caring economics" that balances financial, social and environmental prosperity.

Ricard also held a session at the Global Dialogue for Happiness the day before, which brought together experts, government officials and representatives of international organisations.