"At this critical juncture, we should put our hand on our chest and feel our beating heart. That heartbeat is the pulse of humanity. It is good, it is pure, it is whole. I has always been that way - and it always will be. If we can embody the heart of goodness, humanity will have an indestructible tool." -Sakyong Mipham
Reading the Sakyong's words are timely. We all feel challenged right now but it's imperative to remember that when our goodness is challenged by aggression, we must not be dissuaded, but emerge even stronger and do what we can to understand, protect and transmit goodness to others.
I vividly remember the moment in which I began to understand the art of connection (not to mention that of persuasion and influence). The foundations for this art seem so simple: an open mind, a kind heart and an active ear to listen. Tensions are higher than ever (or so it seems) and most are flocking to social media to distribute missives to a faceless audience. Here is the deal though, if we desire others to open their worlds enough to see differently, we too must open our worlds enough to see. The violence that exists right now is due to droves of people having no clue as to what to do with their suffering. The hateful speech, the division of people and varying ideologies has much to do with people clinging to a need for and quite frankly an addiction to self-protection and a deep desire to belong and acceptance. Many know not why they cling to certain perspectives or ideologies. But here is a question to contemplate yourself: do we truly believe that we can instigate change and transmit goodness to others if we fight fire with fire?
Here is the deal, change occurs somewhere in the middle. This takes patience, understanding and a reminder to grow our capacity for kindness, openness and connection. Know that no matter how much good you put out into the world, it only take one flash of anger to diminish all that work because of its damaging affects on both ourselves and others. I bring this up in many of my posts but the belief is that the first step is to pause- to literally silence the first reaction and, instead, respond with goodness and a loving response.
Don't get me wrong, I am human too and this is hard. It takes courage to sit with that restless, painful energy when all you want to do is scream or punch when you are faced with hatred, abuse, aggression and ignorance. But perhaps we could refuse to get pulled under and we could breathe. We could look into each other's eyes and see the sameness that exists there. We could look to see the way that fear penetrates and divides us but also the goodness that also resides within our being-ness. We too have days or moments in which we are courageous AND we have those of cowardice.
Open to difficulty and see it as an opportunity to become more wise instead of more afraid. Acknowledge that aggression grows with fear and let's stop the cycle of aggression. Let's get back to that vulnerable place of standing in the shoes of those who hate us and draw warmth, kindness, empathy and compassion into the equation. Use the difficult situations to awaken our compassion and feel our kinship with one anther.
Right now, patience is the most revolutionary act because it goes against our knee-jerk reaction to lock more tightly into our opinions of them and against, friend and foe. Let's acknowledge that we are one.
All the love and goodness to you,