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Buddhism in the News


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Let us Love One Another.

(Above: The famous "Tank Man" who stood down the might and power of the Chinese army during the Tienanmen Square protests in 1989).

Today I just want to reach out to whomever is reading and share a moment of humanity together.

I want to share today how much I love them. Regardless of political viewpoint, religion or non-religion. We are all human beings that deserve love, respect and tolerance. I call on all of us to make this year a peaceful one--we must stop insulting one another and actually listen to one another. We CAN work together--it has been done before, so we know it is possible.
My heart is brimming over with compassion for this wounded but beautiful world--if my arms were big enough I'd give the whole world a hug. We need to let go of our pride and heal one another because we're all each other has on this far-flung planet.

So, what can we do to heal this world? Well, not much on a global scale--we are pretty helpless as individuals toward changing global problems. However, we can affect great change in our own daily lives. These are the moments in grocery store when we can share a smile. Times when we can offer a hug and a patient ear to a friend who just had a bad day. These are things we can do daily--if not multiple times a day. And they make a difference. You may have no idea what sharing a smile with someone might do for their day. Maybe they're cynical about the world but that smile gave them hope that not everyone in the world is a jerk. Or maybe you shared some words of empathy with a depressed person and forgot the incident a day or two later but chances are those words were like giving water to a person parched with thirst from wandering in the desert. It might even save a life.

I can attest first hand to the power of a strangers smile, words of empathy or concern. I sometimes struggle with suicidal depression from having a psychiatric disorder, as many of you know. I can tell you that there were several times when the seemingly smallest thought of kindness gave me the strength to go on and live another day. We just don't have any idea what impact our words and actions will have on someone. So, don't disregard those few minutes of empathy that you shared on the bus with a person struggling. It might not seem it but one word of compassion can start a chain-reaction of interdependent causes that touch countless lives for the better. And that momentum builds, slower, but exponentially until one day we witness societal changes that would seem otherwise to have come from nowhere. Yet they didn't. They were a constant wearing down of hatred, anger and delusion like a seemingly weak trickle of water cracked a giant boulder into two pieces.

We don't have to be the next Nobel Peace Prize winner, a world leader, the Dalai Lama or a celebrity to bring hope, strength and confidence to millions of people. Recall the skinny, lone man who stood a column of tanks down during the Tienanmen Square demonstrations in China? His "small action" inspired countless people to challenge not just unjust authority and power but to challenge their own unjust oppression--around the world and beyond time because I am still being inspired years later in far away America from this man's action in the past. This could be the courage to leave a violent relationship, face our often crippling fears or inspire us to be better people to ourselves and those we interact with.

So, don't doubt yourself the next time you get the urge to show some kindness toward another. Don't blow it off thinking your few words couldn't help much because perhaps not to you in your present moment because you aren't in a state of torment at that time. However, to the person who those words would be directed toward, it could mean the difference between life and death. That is how we save lives. That is how we change the world for the better; sharing the present moment with another person to connect and share our common bond is about as powerful an action we can perform!!

~Peace to all beings~

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Rosiroo said...

Wonderful and inspiring post. Thank you!

BM said...

Thanks James. It's so true. I was feeling down today while walking to my office. Then, on the way, I saw a priest smiling at me. That smile gave me warmth and makes me feel much better. A simple smile works.

Llamabean said...

Thank you for reminding me of the actions I want to put into the world. Sometimes I feel like so many people forget that we are all human, not just separate countries and borders.
Great post.

L.B. said...

I sometimes wonder what became of that man. Has anyone ever heard anything further about him? It would be a fascinating and inspiring story.
Hope you're having a good day, James. Peace upon your path.

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