The Dalai Lama sees a connection between the West's overemphasis upon external progress and "the unhappiness, anxiety, and lack of contentment in modern society." Whereas many political and economic experiments have tried to bring us material well-being, the true revolution is a spiritual one that speaks to "our inner dimension." This inspirational and soulful volume proclaims that both self and the world can be transformed by the cultivation of the following qualities of human spirit — love, compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, a sense of responsibility, and a sense of harmony.

According to the Dalai Lama, "we are compelled to accept ethics as the indispensable interface between my desire to be happy and yours." Toward this universal goal, we must restrain affective emotions (worry, anger, depression, pride, etc.) that inhibit spirituality. We must cultivate "the ethics of virtue," which include inner composure, patient forbearance, humility, giving, and equanimity. Most importantly, the Dalai Lama sees the cultivation of contentment as "crucial to maintaining peaceful coexistence." He concludes this in-depth survey of ethics and spiritual development with a vision of positive changes that can be made in education, the media, politics, economics, the environment, and disarmament.

The Dalai Lama concludes: "The good heart, which is the fruit of virtue, is by itself a benefit to humanity." The challenge right now is to teach this morality to our children for the future of the world is in their hands.