My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness. -Dalai Lama
Why is so hard to be kind? Why do we choose hate over love?
I have opened myself up here. I've let myself out of the box and it was not easy. For the most part, I have found kindness. But I have also sensed other emotions. The tug and pull of others upon us is really only the tug and pull of ourselves. It's very hard to love someone whose mission seems to be to point a finger and destroy all that is in you that is good. But I find that compassion for myself and others is what is really needed. I think of how many times this has occurred in history.
Saints, sages, political figures, common folk who dared to be different, but were shunned for being who they are. Some crucified, hanged, cursed and hated for only wanting good. I don't know what is wrong with wanting and feeling joy, peace, love, and happiness and wanting to share these with others. What is in human nature that makes us want to hate these beautiful things in others? Why can't joy be shared? Why are we afraid to honor and appreciate the successes of others knowing that we are not really separate from one another, we are one in the same. What makes people turn green with envy and want to shut others out of their lives completely. What makes a person say, "I will never forgive you, forever." Forever rolling in their own misery.
It takes a very compassionate person to love the one who wants to kill them. How do you muster up this compassion? How do you replace hate with love? How do you love the one who silently hates? Or an even harder question, how do you love the one who verbally and physically hates?
So I keep practicing. Just keep going inside. Just keep loving. I give all the love in the world to myself. I give all the kindness in the world to myself. If I can't love myself with every ounce of my being and give kindness and gentleness to myself with every ounce of my being, how can I love the world? How can I find room in my heart to love the one who is hurting so much that all they can do is inflict that hurt on others, however subtly?
Fortunately, I've also found love, peace and kindness to be contagious. There are more people who would rather share these feelings. You never know how your presence will affect another, but if what you feel, say and do feels right to you and you feel good, chances are others will too. I received a postcard in my college mailbox that had the Chinese character for kindness on it. I was surprised. The person who gave it to me hardly knew me, but I had invited my colleagues to partake in a party at my house and she felt thankful. The Chinese character for kindness shows the symbol for person combined with the number two symbolizing benevolence, the essential kindness one person shows another. This is what was written on the card:
So I'm going to keep walking with this love in me. I'm going to keep shining this light. I'm going to keep being kind.
Also on my blog Lessons from the Monk I Married