However capable and skillful an individual may be, left alone, he or she will not survive. When we are sick or very young or very old, we must depend on the support of others. There is no significant division between us and other people, because our basic natures are the same. If we wish to ensure everyone’s peace and happiness we need to cultivate a healthy respect for the diversity of our peoples and cultures, founded on an understanding of this fundamental sameness of all human beings.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
To see if you’re aware of impermanence or not, check whether your plans are long or short term. To see if you perceive samsara as flawed or not, check how strong is your attachments. To see if you’ll attain liberation in the future or not, check whether your conduct is good or bad. To see if you’ve given rise to loving kindness and compassion or not, check how you take care of those in need. To see if you’ve tamed the demon of anger or not, check how much hatred you feel towards your enemies. To see if you’ve dispelled the obscuring demon of ignorance or not, check how much you cling in hope and fear. To see if you’ve purified the three poisons or not, check how free from grasping you’ve become. You’ll know your Dharma practice has become the path or not by thoroughly examining your own mind.
When starting out on the inner path you need a great amount of courage to go in a different direction from this modern world's materialistic culture, particularly if all your family and friends are immersed in it. But ask yourself what is more important: The duration of this one short life, or the infinite continuum of mind?
Respect and develop pure perception and devotion toward those who are practicing Dharma as the noble sangha. If you see faults in others, think that they’re the reflections of your own delusions. If you see good qualities in others, meditate on rejoicing over them. Disclose and expel your own faults. Generate virtuous qualities and act with astonishing perseverance.
When we are really sick, or when we really suffer, we might think, “Nothing can help, other than the practice of the dharma."
Many people have discarded their worldly activities and started to practice the dharma because their sickness and suffering have inspired them to do so.