The world seems calloused by violence, we have protective shields all around us that are not there to keep us from experiencing violence but like calloused skin are now numb to the situation that caused the buildup of excess skin in the first place.
Our minds and bodies have become a build-up of layers of understanding against what we know to be the right way. Right way is a thought process, a moral code, an ethical call to un-arm ourselves mind, body and soul. We can live in a world where violence is not the way, but is in fact a deep wound to all beings when it occurs.
Osama bin Laden’s death two weeks ago is a reminder of what can happen when we harden our hearts to the world around us. This man perpetuated an ideology of hatred throughout the world, his was a continuation on the hatred that has plagued us for centuries, and I know he was a symbol of our hatred of each other and of the violence we have endured. Still though I am not convinced that death is the only way to solve violence, I do see that our President, our government, had no choice in this situation, but it makes me sad to think of what our lives have become.
Does the killing end there? No it goes on; it always goes on, for every death that occurs another side feels justified in offering up its own murder. It is always couched in terms of justice and avenging. But who, I want to know is the last one?
The Dalai Lama was asked how to teach compassion to children in a world of violence and his response was to teach our kids to love insects. If we can learn to respect the strange and weird world of insects we can begin to encompass an understanding of all living creatures.
My husband and others have talked about how we make the enemy less than human so that we can justify the killing, but what if we honored all of life right down to the pesky fly with its strange praying hands and eyes that feel alien and creepy sitting atop his head? Would it be harder to kill another if we honored all life as sacred?
The Buddhists think so, yet the killing goes on. I think that for me it was easy to understand a President who felt justified in killing the terrorist who masterminded the 911 attacks, but it makes me sad that I would not have felt better if he had let him live, taken him to a trial and found justice through humane means. I am no better than anyone else; I am a human who sees justice in the death of another. Today’s word is compassion – I start with forgiving myself for my weakness.