The Buddhists think that, because we’ve all had infinite previous lives, we’ve all been each other’s relatives. Therefore all of you, in the Buddhist view, in some previous life … have been my mother — for which I do apologize for the trouble I caused you.

Robert Thurman

Quotation #36709

About This Quote

“Expanding Your Circle of Compassion.” Chautauqua Institution. Oct. 2009. Conference Presentation.

Source: "Expanding Your Circle of Compassion." Chautauqua Institution. Oct. 2009. Conference Presentation. Additional Information: This humorous quote is from scholar and Tibetan monk Robert Thurman's TED Talk on the subject of compassion. Per Buddhist belief, says Thurman, we all have had an infinite number of previous lives, so were all each other's mother at some point. Thurman jokes that this means he needs to apologize to everyone -- presumably because he gave his mother such a hard time when he was younger. Watch the full TED Talk here: Robert Thurman - Expanding Your Circle of Compassion