“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method that rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
We have a wonderful photo of Bishop Tutu with his hands in prayer position.
Underneath it are his words, “Please make it fashionable to be compassionate.” That photograph is many years old but his words are just as relevant today. Sadly we’ve been witnessing many horrific non-compassionate actions of late such as school shootings, racial prejudice, and violent beheadings.
Isn’t it time for a compassionate revolution? How can there by peace if we are not at peace with ourselves, if we don’t open our hearts to ourselves and to all others equally?
A revolution is a re-evolution; it is the willingness to take a higher step in the evolution of consciousness. It is also a revolving, a turning around of ourselves in response to an inner calling. In this case it’s the turning from selfishness, self-survival and closed heartedness to openheartedness, sharing and tenderness. It’s a shift in emphasis. From being consumed with our fears, doubts, insecurities and dramas, our greatest joy comes from caring for each other.
We’ve already proven that war does not work, that fighting and killing in the name of religion to wipe out an enemy or to claim control never has a happy ending; always there is suffering and anguish and continued pain with no end in sight. The dualistic belief that there’s an ‘us’ and ‘them’ causes an endless no-win situation, blanketing our minds with ignorance.
There’s more than enough suffering in the world already. It’s time for a revolution that brings alive fearlessness, courage, compassion and love. Then we can break through the differences that separate us and cause so much loneliness and fear. Instead, we can open our arms to each other.
The Pope showed compassion and humility when he had bathrooms and showers built at the Vatican for use by homeless people, and again when he celebrated his birthday by giving each one a sleeping bag. The Dalai Lama, head of Tibetan Buddhism, says how his true religion is kindness, and how love and compassion are the pillars of world peace.
Whenever we get stressed we tend to close our hearts toward others. We get a “couldn’t care less” attitude—nothing matters but our own little world. By developing a more loving and caring attitude, we will find more joy and certainly less stress.
Every time you feel rushed, irritated, annoyed or upset, sit quietly and silently repeat: May I be happy or May I be filled with loving kindness.
If you can do that for a day then the next day silently say May you be well or May you be happy to each person you see or meet. It’s important not to tell them—just feel it in your heart. You can do this to people in an elevator, at work, in the street, or at home.
Silently repeat May you be filled with loving kindness when your partner or boss is upset or angry with you, or when someone is criticizing you. The more you do this, the more you release the hook inside yourself so that anger cannot land.
If a day feels easy, try a whole week. Let friendliness and kindness grow within you. Make it your goal to become a more loving and kinder person.
Author: Ed & Deb Shapiro
Editor: Caroline Beaton