When I was a little kid, my mom had to work a lot, so we had a baby-sitter who would often come over and watch MTV all the time. So, I remember this song by The Eurythmics very well, even though I hadn’t heard it in almost 30 years. It’s still an awesome song:1
The main lyrics are:
Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree
I travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody’s looking for something
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused
When I hear these lyrics now, I feel this is a great summary of Buddhism and the idea of samsara. This is called rinne (輪廻) in Japanese or yunhoe (윤회) in Korean for reference.
Everyone, everybody, is wandering the world looking for something. We never quite find it, but we keep looking, keep wandering. Thus, we never find rest or peace.2
Also, we come into this world confused and because we’re confused, we sometimes do harmful things to ourselves or other people.
If a person does not appreciate these two points, the rest of Buddhism will make no sense.
1 This is the alternate video. I was unable to find the original that most people might remember.
2 Compare with the following sutra.