By Tanya Tiger
If we’re not careful we end up adding to the suffering by forgetting to show ourselves compassion.
The sense of pain and anguish in the air is palpable these days. It makes it difficult, sometimes nearly impossible, to hold compassion in our hearts. We can’t make sense out of what we are seeing and hearing. We can’t understand how we got to this place, and we’re left wondering how we can fix what has been so badly broken in our society. So much damage has been done to one another and to ourselves. I know many of us are left asking what we can do to help, or we sit worrying it may be too late. We ask ourselves if we’re doing enough.
Are our voices being heard?
Are we being kind enough?
Are we being loving enough?
Yes, the world and its people are hurting. Yes, it can seem insurmountable at times. Still, hope remains. We are not lost so long as someone continues to hold the torch of love in the darkness to help guide our way.
To quote Buddha, “Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” Tomorrow is gone and cannot be undone. To heal and make progress we need to focus our attention on the here and now. Acknowledge that each moment of each day we wake is another opportunity to do and be better. We can choose to begin each day with a grateful heart, regardless of our knowledge that our world is in a state of chaos right now. We can wake with the intention of showing more love and kindness to ourselves and others. We can seek common ground, rather than differences, knowing that kindness begins with the understanding that we all struggle. If nothing else, we have that in common.
We can lead by example by being the love we wish to see. Healing cannot occur if we are not willing to find common ground. It is from this place that we can begin rebuilding.
As the Dalai Lama put it, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” We are the seeds planted deep within the muck and mire of our world’s current predicament. Love and compassion are like sun and water. With them we will grow stronger, not in spite of the challenges we are facing right now, but because of them. The challenge, the struggle is where we can stand together. Differences only hold power when we see them as more than what they really are: varying manifestations and perspectives of what it means to be human. If we continue finding reasons to divide, withhold, and move away from one another we are doomed.
When we can see one another past the labels and the facades and simply love one another—flaws and all—we stand a chance of coming through these times compassionately wiser.
I fully realize we will probably never see eye-to-eye on everything. However, I continue to hold out hope that we stand united on enough issues that we can put down our weapons, soften our words, and make room for everyone to exist in peace. Let us begin to lay a foundation of kindness so we can build a better, stronger, more loving future for ourselves, our children, and generations to come.
After all, we share this giant rock called Earth. Without it—without one another—we cease to exist.
Editor: Alicia Wozniak