Some Qualities I Aspire to: Compassion, Friendship, Platonic Love, Giving, Altruism and Forgiveness

Essay by Luke Foster

The amazing 14th Dalai Lama. Couldn’t be more perfect.

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”

 Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama has the qualities I listed in the title and I read his talks transcripts sometimes and use many of his quotes in my essays but I still have a long way to go to be like him particularly in the area of forgiveness and compassion.

I am 51 but I am still very immature for my age as my mum looked after me a lot up until her passing a few years back and I also nursed her a lot in the last few years of her life. I cooked, cleaned, went grocery shopping, helped her dress and sat outside the bathroom while she showered, in-case she had a fall. But most importantly I kissed her on the forehead many times a day and said I love you mum. My mum was so kind and wise and loving and I hope that one day I shall be as good as her. When she was in a nursing home in Sydney near my brother’s place, I flew down to Sydney as I often as I could to visit her and love and nurse her with love and letting me tell her stories of her life.

My mum’s best advice was on my art and she always said stop drawing yourself and use colour and I am still to heed this excellent advice which was even better than the advice during my sculpture master’s degree at COFA in the mid-nineties.

This is me dressed as one of my favourite artists the late Joseph Beuys.

Other areas I need to work on include selfless giving and better looking after my physical health. I am ten kilos overweight after resting from a foot injury and an eye operation and I put on weight so today I got back into beach walking after a rainy week and it was beautiful on the beach. However, I usually walk two hours but cut it a half hour short as I got a text message that a package for my art was being delivered today.

And now some inspirational advice from a strong woman to balance out my male female balance of role models.

“Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality.”

 Malala Yousafzai

I love Malala’s activism particularly in campaigning for women’s rights and women’s education globally and she uses the clout she has after winning the Nobel Peace Prize age 17 to achieve this.

In conclusion I feel I have a long way to go to become the kind of person I want to be and no person is an island so I look for inspiration for how to achieve this not just by studying the teachings of such people as the Dalai Lama and Malala Yousafzai but also from everyone in my local and global community.

Mum at the nursing home in Mona Vale.

This is my favourite photo of me and mum. I hope she felt as loved as I felt while growing up.