If we divide into two camps--even into violent and the nonviolent--and stand in one camp while attacking the other, the world will never have peace. We will always blame and condemn those we feel are responsible for wars and social injustice, without recognizing the degree of violence within ourselves. We must work on ourselves and also with those we condemn if we want to have a real impact.
-Ayya Khema, "Be An Island"
James's comment: I am a passionate person and sometimes I allow those passions to push me off center. Especially when it comes to national and geo-political issues.
I often become so passionate about it that I become angry toward others without realizing the anger that it causes in myself and others around me. It only seems to upset my peace and cause me to suffer.
No progress can be made while allowing ourselves to become blinded by anger toward others because it usually only makes the other person suffer and become defensive.
I think a better way is to find peace within ourselves and lead by example while looking for common ground with our so called "enemies." Only then can we hope for coming together as a people to reduce the world's suffering.
I do feel, however, that some issues we must take a strong stance of opposition against or we will fall for anything as they say. However, we can find a common ground on most issues if we listen compassionately enough to the other side. Often times we would rather not even understand why a person is thinking differently then we do.
Again, another issue that is easier said then done but it is very much worth striving for. I am far from my goal on this issue but I think that being aware of the obstacle and having the desire to change is a huge step.
-Peace to all beings-