I had an interesting discussion when getting a hair cut. A 72 year old guy walked into the hair cut shop at about 9am for a hair cut. The hairdresser asked him how he was and the old man replied that he wasn't doing so well because his wife left him that day after 45 years of marriage. His wife is 67 years old.
The hairdresser asked him what he thought and it came out in conversation that the old man believed that people live their lives for others primarily and not just yourself. The hairdressor disagreed greatly.
So what did the Buddha say in general? To me it would seem that the Buddha leant more towards liberation of ourselves first but at the same time being mindful of others needs and helping them out where possible. But what do you all think?
Do we live for others or for ourselves?
My dog is getting old and I find that he gets into trouble no matter what I do. For example, he recently got a few ticks on him that was causing him paralysis. I have luckily found some tick repellent that will help him recover but it has me thinking that there just isn't any certainty with living beings. It makes me think that the old man is wrong because if we live for someone else then our happiness is so attached to the other person. So if the other person is sad, we are sad. If they are happy, we are happy. But we can't control other people but more so, what happens to them.
If we live for other people, I think we are setting ourselves up for a lot more hurt. The sad thing is....I've been just like that old man
edit: The Buddha talked about the four dangers: Old age, sickness, death and separation.
I think the old man was suffering greatly from separation from his loved one.
I wonder how we are supposed to think about 'separation from loved ones', and how to handle it. It's all well good to say, just don't be attached but that is such a hard thing to do.