April 22, 2024

5 Things that Shouldn’t Prevent us from Being Good Human Beings.

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I believe that deep down everyone is a good person.

In Buddhism we say it’s our Buddha nature, which means that we are inherently good and pure.

But, if this is true, why is it that people are sometimes cruel? Why are we sometimes cruel? If we are “pure” by nature, why do we get stuck in negative situations and emotions and let them dictate our life?

The truth is we almost always get tangled up in life’s most difficult events. And so instead of nurturing ourselves, we sink deeper into ignorance and fear.

However, if we want to tap into our Buddha nature and experience unparalleled bliss, we need to recognize the things that might be hindering us. We need to dig deeper and look for the reasons that might be clouding our tranquil nature.

In my opinion, these five things could often bring out the worst in us:

1. People who are different from us. If someone has different perceptions, political views, race, style, sexuality, or ethnicity doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve inclusivity and kindness. Being able to respect all people and treat them kindly reinforces the Buddhist idea of inherent purity. At the end of the day, we are all human beings who desire to be respected and loved, regardless of our differences. That said, we can’t be kind to only those we like. We must be kind to all.

2. People’s personal choices and decisions. Usually, when we care deeply about someone, their (so-called wrong) decisions might upset us, which in turn might impact how we treat them. We might become mean or inconsiderate to show them that they’re mistaken. But we if truly care about someone, we should be kind to them at all times and offer our advice and help only when they ask for it. The ability to accept various life choices allows us to open our hearts and put our ego aside.

3. Getting hurt. It is common that when we are hurt we might become too jaded or apathetic. Pain makes us rude because it subconsciously protects us from rejection, abandonment, or loss. Although it makes sense that pain might negatively transform our behavior toward others, we need to remember that pain can also be a catalyst for compassion and unlimited love. The kinder we are to the world—and ourselves—the happier we become.

4. Misfortune. Losing a job, a whole career, a pet, a person, or a house hurts. Misfortune can show up in many different ways and turn our life upside down. But how we treat others during challenging times matters. If we’re only kind to others when we’re happy or lucky, it means that our kindness is conditional. Consequently, we must learn to practice being good human beings even (and especially) when it’s hard.

5. Not loving ourselves. If we are not kind to ourselves, how can we be kind to the world? Maitri is the foundation of all other relationships in our life. How we treat family, friends, lovers, animals, and Earth depends on how we treat ourselves. So if you want to be kinder to the world, learn how to be kinder to yourself first.

Kindness is not a trait; it’s a mindset.

We don’t practice it; we live it.

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