...Shakyamuni Buddha, even when he was a trainee on the path, was solely concerned in both thought and action with others' welfare. Whenever he found an opportunity to work for others, no matter what difficulties he faced, he was never discouraged. He never hated obstacles and hardships encountered on the way. Instead, the difficult situations facilitated his being more courageous and determined to accomplish others' welfare. Just because he was so determined to work for others in the past, even as a trainee on the path, it is needless to say how much more it is so with him now as a completely enlightened person.
...We say this prayer at the time of taking vows:
I shall relieve those who are distressed;
I shall establish beings in the bliss of enlightenment.
Therefore, after saying such a prayer and also pledging to fulfill it, we should not neglect our roommates and neighbors who are sick and old, etc. We must do our best to help others literally in whatever way we can, even with our words, as if Buddha had created such opportunities for us to help others; we must create virtues. In regard to situations in which we cannot help others literally, we can mentally dedicate our body, wealth and virtue to them. Otherwise, we are just helpless.
While you give, do not expect something in return. Do not give to fulfill selfish motives. Do not be discouraged in giving. Generate the altruistic mind of enlightenment as best you can, and then give out of sole concern for others. Having been reborn as human beings and having come into contact with Dharma, we know something about what to do and what not to do.
--from Generous Wisdom: Commentaries by H.H. the Dalai Lama XIV on the Jatakamala translated by Tenzin Dorjee edited by Dexter Roberts
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