How might the Buddha respond to questions of social change? How do we bring about large-scale happiness to entire societies? I recently heard this thought-provoking interview on National Public Radio’s show Speaking of Faith, called “The Buddha in the World.” It’s an interview with Pankaj Mishra, a journalist and author of the book The End of Suffering: The Buddha in the World.

In the interview, Mr. Mishra says, “‘How should I live?’ You know, it sounds sort of bewilderingly large, but that is the question that almost all of us are faced with every day. And one of the things that, for me, distinguished the Buddha from a whole lot of very important Western thinkers, he’s not saying that you have to sort of reform a whole society in order to achieve happiness. He’s sort of posing a kind of challenge to individuals: How can you arrive at contentment or happiness, and also, thereby, create conditions for happiness of other people around you?”

You can download the podcast from the Speaking of Faith website. It’s 53 minutes long, but I thought, very worthwhile.