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Ahiṃsā (literally "harmlessness") is the absence of the desire to cause harm to living beings. Of course, sometimes the needs of living beings may conflict, and then the only resolution may involve some harm to one of the beings or, more often, to all beings that are involved. The principle of ahiṃsā aims to reduce the overall suffering, i.e. it strives for cooperation instead of competition.
There are lots of occasions where culture teaches us to act with cruelty and indifference, for example by
To live a peaceful life it it necessary to understand these mechanisms, shed the indifference that makes possible to ignore the suffering all around us, and find less harmful alternatives.
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