Compassionate Activism

Across the globe we are experiencing greater divide that are tearing up communities and families.  These divides are often based on identifying differences rather than seeking commonality from which to build coalition.  We are losing our ability to have open conversation, entrenching ourselves in our positions, and not listening to others’.  Both sides believe they are right, and so it is important to dig deeper and understand where these beliefs are born out of.

Reminds me of a story of a Buddhist monk who was imprisoned for decades in China was asked if he had ever been afraid in jail, and he said his fear was that he would lose compassion for his captors.

Similarly, we should feel compassion towards those that are filled with anger and hatred because those feelings are born out of fear.  They are scared and lashing out in a cry for help, when really need compassion.  

Those who fight for power and control over others also need compassion that they are not fulfilled in their own life that they have to externalize their inner battles and project these struggles on to others. 

When you show compassion to others and listen, search for common threads, this can re-build our divided community.

Like attracts like – negative attracts negative, positive attracts positive.  Action and reaction.  Anger will be met in equal measure with anger.  The same can be held true for love and compassion.  Project these emotions sincerely and openly and in time they will be reflected back.

Wonderful article below discusses this in greater detail.  

A Guide to Conscious Social Activism: Navigating The Future

As the Dalai Lama has said, “Nonviolence takes a very long time.” Nonviolence is a lifelong process of refining the arts of kindness, concern, and tolerance for differences. It need not be the absence or suppression of anger or other emotions. It is a behavioral choice we make.