It is easy today to point to people in other countries and situations and talk about their shocking lack of compassion. How could they kill innocent children like that? How could they do that to women? How could that woman have done that to her child?
But I live in a world, in my small corner of life, where there are people living their lives without compassion. Their happiness seems predicated on making other people suffer. These are not random acts that occur that one could say it was a mistake, they didn’t mean it …. these are systematic, prolonged efforts to destroy other human beings with unkindness. These are people who are not only openly practicing hate in their own lives, they are teaching their children how to do the same.
Peace is not something that has to happen in a third world country or at the neighbour’s house. It has to begin within our own hearts and govern our actions. It has to start with the ability to act with compassion in all things. We can be firm, have principles, effect laws . . . with compassion.
Because the only other choice is for people to join together to cut out the cancers in our society, to start saying “No” to the people who fill our lives with their hateful words and conduct. I know for me, once there is a clear pattern of behaviour that says, “no matter what I choose to continue to act with malice and hate. It is my intent to continue to hurt and destroy others.” I am out of there. THEY have to find their hearts. THEY have to effect change in their lives.
Choosing peace, choosing compassion is as much about what we do not choose. There is no place in a world of peace for people whose view of life and love is so narrow that they require people around them to hate others in order to be “loved” by them. This is the mindset of the sheep herd. This is the mindset of bullies. This is the mindset that leads to war and death. It is not something “over there” it exists all around us and we have to start saying “no” to it in our own lives, and making sure it no longer has any place to be comfortable.