Generally, I have been very impressed by Western society; I especially admire its energy, its creativity, and its hunger for knowledge. Still, a certain number of elements in the Western way of life seem worrisome to me. I have noticed, for example, how ready people are to think of everything as completely white or completely black, as either this or that, ignoring the reality of interdependence and relativism. They have a tendency to lose sight of the gray zones between opinions.
Another one of my observations is that there are many people in the West who live very comfortably in large cities, while still remaining isolated from the large mass of humanity. It is surprising that with such material ease and with thousands of brothers and sisters as neighbors, such a large number of people can show real affection only for their cats and dogs. In my view, that denotes a lack of spiritual values. Part of the problem might be the intense competition – a source of fear and profound insecurity – involved in living in these countries.
The Dalai Lama in My Spiritual Journey