Recognizing the instability of causes and conditions leads us to understand our own power to transform obstacles and make the impossible possible. This is true in every area of life. If you don’t have a Ferrari, you very well may create the conditions to have one. As long as there is a Ferrari, there is the opportunity for you to own one. Likewise if you want to live longer, you can choose to stop smoking and exercise more. There is reasonable hope. Hopelessness—just like its opposite, blind hope—is the result of a belief in permanence.
You can transform not only your physical world but your emotional world, for example, turning agitation into peace of mind by letting go of ambition or turning low self-respect into confidence by acting out of kindness and philanthropy. If we all condition ourselves to put our feet in other people’s shoes, we will cultivate peace in our homes, with our neighbors, and with other countries.
From What Makes You Not a Buddhist by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, pages 30–31