May we all increasingly be the peace our world yearns for. ~ Molly
|Photo by Molly|
And if tomorrow is going to look any better than today, we must realize that the currency for compassion isn't what someone does, right or wrong - it is the very fact that that person exists. Commitment to the possibility of kindness cannot be discarded as foolish or irrelevant, even in troubling times when we often can't find easy answers. If we abandon the force of kindness as we confront cruelty, we won't learn anything to take into tomorrow - not from history, not from one another, not from life.
Even if we are encountering cruelty, we must try to understand its roots and determine not to be the same as those acting it out. We must determine not to simply keep perpetrating the forces of separation and disregard. If we don't make the effort, what will we really have accomplished?...
We can all keep on trying, through the extension of lovingkindness to others, and make the effort to pay attention to them in an inclusive way rather than splitting them off into the "other" - the "different" ones who can be hurt with impunity. This doesn't at all mean that we will like everybody or acquiesce to everyitng that he or she does. It doesn't mean that we become complacent or passive about naming wrongdoing as wrong or about seeking change, sometimes very forcefully, with our whole heart.
Practicing lovingkindness does mean that we learn to see the lives of others, relay see them, as related to our own lives. It means that we open up to the possibility of caring for others not just because we like them or admire them or are indebted to them in some way, but because our lives are inextricably linked to one another's. We use the practice of lovingkindness meditation as a way to recover our innermost knowledge of that linkage as we dissolve the barriers we have been upholding and genuinely awaken to how connected we all are.
- Sharon Salzberg
Excerpted from The Force of Kindness:
Change Your Life with Love & Compassion