“The planet does not need more successful people. The planet needs
more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.”
~ from the Adorable and Compassionate Dalai Lama
A Peaceful Proposal
Ironically, this past Friday on World Kindness Day, the unthinkable happened with another series of violent acts inflicted this time against the people of France. Like millions of people around the world, I’m disturbed when fear and hatred create tragedies like these.
However, this is not a letter about politics or faith or any of the isms involved in trying to dissect the non-disectable. Rather this is a modest proposal for peace, for consciousness, for love, for ever.
When 9-11 happened in 2001, I was paralyzed by shock and grief. At that time, I thought in some way by my viewing again and again airplanes flying into buildings filled with unsuspecting people or watching the shell-shocked individuals run away from the collapsing buildings, I was showing my support and compassion for humanity. I grew depressed and despondent in my helplessness and fear. I didn’t have the tools back then to navigate through such a highly documented terrorist event.
Now France has declared war, a manhunt is underway for those responsible, more hatred and suspicion will be targeted towards groups of people based on their ethnicity and beliefs, new laws of “protection” and insidious systems of surveillance will undoubtedly increase. And as history has repeatedly shown, no war will ever create peace; no battle will ever be truly victorious. What many have become masters in, however, is how to create more dominant, pervasive structures of fear and separation.
And while it may seem justified in attributing blame to those involved in such heinous acts, I think of all the daily emotional and psychological terror many of us create inside—out-sourced in the world for our friends, our family and our communities to see, whether it be the results of our debilitating self-worth, the self-hatred of our bodies, the addictions we find temporary escape in, the ongoing conversations we endure with a harsh inner critic, the beliefs we hold that what we do does not matter. Imagine these inner battles coupled with the outer terrors we witness and it’s easy to understand why so many live tethered to fear.
Take my hand. It’s time to walk towards the light.
How about this for an -ism? Let’s get radical about compassion and inclusion, fanatical about freedom. How about devoting an hour every Sunday to the practice of extreme forgiveness? Hey, my name is (fill in your name) and I have a Ph. D in Love. Let’s indoctrinate children about loving kindness and service, show them how to use a pencil to write and then some tools to live in freedom and discern when they are not, build curriculums about the whys and hows of creating and living out dreams of helping not harming any being who inhabits this earth.
My friend recently shared an excerpt with me from a book called Destiny of Souls by Dr Michael Newton. Under hypnosis, a man recalled a time he had died in a past life and was undergoing a life review. In this lifetime, he was a successful man by many people’s standards, so he felt secure that he had accomplished great feats giving money to charity and the like. However, he was surprised to discover that the council of Wise Ones as he described them singled out his greatest, most influential contribution as the comfort he’d offered a crying woman for a few minutes at a bus stop—a woman whom he never saw again. This random act of kindness demonstrated his ability to leave his comfort zone and show his humanity as well as his compassion for the suffering of another.
In times like these where world events are at the forefront of collective consciousness, I recognize the longing I have to experience more loving kindness, more acceptance and more vulnerability within myself and from others. I find comfort and strength in an inner place, a sacred space of my own creation, where I’m reminded I’m one soul on a well- populated planet who has the absolute power, freedom and responsibility to live my life as a peaceful, loving, and creative being and share that grace with others in the ways life leads me.
From this inner listening and knowing, it’s easier to be kinder, to forgive myself and others for where we’ll miss the mark or the opportunities to show compassion, offer comfort or possibly uplift a broken heart.
And on this day, I choose to start the moment I wake up. I begin with a hot cup of coffee, watch the birds eat from the feeders, say my prayers, listen to the wind play with the rain while I take a moment to read a poem whose beauty is so rich it fills me with gratitude that I know how to read. I didn’t create world peace through an organization of my co-creation, no speech was delivered at the United Nations, and no laws were passed. A smaller part of our personality may desire such a feat when it’s not our true calling or adopt this attitude as way to refrain from acting boldly in love, but thankfully our souls and our inner knowing of what’s good and true are wiser.
Performing random acts of kindness, small acts of kindness. A softening of a rigid belief. Making an overdue phone call. An offering of compassion towards the seemingly unforgiveable. How we think, what we feel, and what we do make a difference. Kindness counts. Love matters.
So as you go about the wonderful business of being you today, how did you start your day? How might you start it tomorrow so you may create a softer, more open space of loving kindness that could impact someone in lasting ways you may never know? I believe you make a difference, you count, you matter. What do you believe? What would you propose?
With so much love,
Love Letter #1
Tuesday, November 17, 2015