Sense desires – no one really thinks they can find happiness through sense desires, yet everyone still tries. One millionaire recently came to Bangkok and liked the longtail boats here – so he bought one, and had it shipped back to his country, Canada I think. So much money but what can he spend it on to become happy? A children’s toy, albeit a big one.
A hotel magnate recently died with a fortune of 2-4 Billion dollars. Nicknamed “Queen of the Mean” she cut a large number of relatives from her will altogether while leaving 6 Million dollars to her pet dog Trouble. And Trouble was a good name for it, since it was spiteful little critter by the sound of it. How is one so far removed from the practise of dana that I’d give a dog 6 m$ ?. Unlike in Christianity, dana, giving, is a practise that should be done openly, and recalled to mind often – because it makes you happy. The sense of pride in ones action is not an issue; you should take happiness in the good things you have done.
The psychologist Bandura said that people tend to identify themselves with their taints rather than their good qualities, and that this is an unhealthy attitude. To make Kamma strong, in the good aspect or the bad, you should plan the good action, make the action yourself, and then rejoice in it afterwards. Hardly advice the Queen of the Mean followed as her spite against her relatives continued even in her will.