We all possess Bodhicitta—don’t be shy, celebrate it!
In recognition of this wonderful new text, he declared today, May 7th, 2013, Basic Goodness Day. I encourage you to consider how you could make one, or many, gestures—no matter how small—of kindness and trust in humanity’s basic goodness—today.
From the Basic Goodness Day Manifesto:
“We declare May 7, 2013 to be Basic Goodness Day, a day when people all over the world, no matter what their beliefs, religion, culture, or creed, collectively affirm their own and others’ basic goodness.
We want to live in a world of peace and goodness. We want a world where the highest values are tolerance, generosity, creativity, kindness, and fearlessness rather than self-absorption, aggression, and speed.
We all know—can feel—that there is an enormous collective longing for a world that operates on principles of sanity. But where to begin?
All you have to do is know beyond doubt that you are good, that you possess inherent worth and value.
When you do, something extraordinary happens. You come into your power. Your confidence rises and your distrust lessens. Your world becomes full of possibility rather than hassles. You see that others also possess this goodness and your heart opens to them.”
By now, if you’ve been reading my articles on elephant, you know I am not a happy-go-lucky girl—this does not mean avoiding conflict or putting aside hard feelings. It means trusting, deeply underneath, that we are capable of real peace, of real compassion and understanding.
The main practice that can get us there is so simple, but also quite difficult, because it is so counter our usual habits: meditation.
The manifesto makes some wonderful, simple suggestions:
“We can celebrate this in any way we like.
If you are a parent, you could say or do something to affirm the goodness of your children and let them know they are worthy of love and kindness, no matter what.
If you are a boss, you could communicate this to your employees.
If you are a doctor, you could communicate it to your patients and if you are a patient, you could communicate it to your doctor.
Teachers can affirm this truth to their students and students could do so for their friends.
Such affirmations can come in the form of words, actions, or by simply thinking of another person and feeling kindness in your heart toward them, whether you speak it or not. Basic Goodness Day is about bringing out the natural tendency of your heart to open, express and give. You can offer something to everyone you encounter on this day.
If you are a blogger, you have a special opportunity to share the love on Basic Goodness Day. Bloggers are now the trusted messengers of our world. They are the voices we trust, beyond pundits, experts, and officials of any stripe. Let’s use our voices to summon the good. You’re smart. You can figure out how to do this, but here are a few suggestions, just in case:
Blog about your thoughts on the idea of basic goodness.
Tell your readers what you love about them.
Offer five suggestions for ways your readers could express their basic goodness on this day.
Tell a story about a time you recognized the truth of basic goodness and/or solicit such stories from your audience.
Give something away.
Ask for something.
Take delight in the display.”
Vulnerability is strength—compassion is power.
Trusting in the inherent basic goodness of all beings is bliss—real bliss—the deep connection we all experience and so often overlook in favor of complaint, fear or panic.
Please take a moment today, not just to contemplate this, but to express it in whatever way—small or large—you feel inspired to do so.
My favorite is one from Michelle Munro (whom I do not know):
“When talking about Basic Goodness with my five year old daughter this morning she says abruptly, “It’s not really the kind of thing you can explain, Mom.You just have to show people by what you do.”
So go out and do something—you can do it. You are basically good.
Join the manifestation/expression/celebration on Facebook.
Like elephant journal on Facebook.
Ed: Bryonie Wise