check yourself, before you wreck yourself…and others.
on the death of Justice Scalia and the celebration by some of loss and tragedy…
I think this is important.
the ability to disagree passionately, to oppose perhaps with rigor and defend what one feels is just and right, working to unravel what one feels is harmful in another’s opinions and actions. all the while, not forgetting a shared humanity. all the while, still seeking a place of common ground, a place to connect, to meet and find resolution.
in my life, in who I am, with what I believe, I have encountered many (some of whom are friends and relatives) who are in opposition to these things and even work against them. this can be hurtful and even cause harm. but they are not the enemy. the enemy may be ignorance, it may be fear, it may be harmful religion or politics, but not them.
I made the choice a long time ago, I could view these things as burdens, unfair and unjust. or, I could see them as opportunities to teach that there is another way. a way of love and openness.
It has been said that our “enemies” (strong wording with unfortunate resonance…perhaps read as those in opposition to you) are our greatest teachers. it can be they who challenge us to rise and rise, thereby benefitting this world.
all of this is transitory. we all love and care deeply. we will all age, break down and weaken. we will all get sick and have pain. we will experience loss and heartache. we will all die and our loved ones will grieve and weep. this is our shared journey.
let us rise.
Why do I consider it so crucial to balance the outer aspects of nonviolence and compassion with the inner support of contemplative practice? Because in the end, all politics are local, and we cannot love life and humanity if we do not love each other, one on one.
~ Lama Surya Das
In all likelihood, the environmental crises we will encounter in the coming decades and probably centuries will bring great upheavals and immense suffering. It is all so hard to wrap one’s mind around because the problem is unprecedented in magnitude. At the same time, we have the whole history of human wisdom to draw upon in making our choices and taking action. The defining question of our age will be how we meet the calamities we will face, and how we will act to mitigate them and find our virtue in confronting them. The stakes couldn’t be higher, yet as human beings, we are not only expert in creating misery, we are also expert in working to resolve it. Both legacies, and the ability to choose which to follow, belong to us.
– James Shaheen, “Choosing Wisdom in the Face of Peril”