I must admit it is challenging to write about Right Action as the newsreel spins day after day countless acts of violence and murder, not to mention the hateful rhetoric that is shared from so many directions. The very first tenant of Right Action, or Samyak Karmanta, is to refrain from harming or killing. Our world seems to embody the opposite.
I am of the belief that even in the darkest of the nights, there is still an opportunity for beauty and light. This is not to gloss over the depth of suffering in our world, or to somehow make saccharine that which is deeply unsettling and heartbreaking.
When we look deeply at our own heart, we find a tenderness there that can be covered over by our own fear, covered over by past traumas, and covered over by a lack of confidence in who we are. When we look even more deeply we can see that that which covers our own heart is a reflection of all of the fear and trauma in the world. Each act of violence or hatred or divisive speech we hear about or witness showcases the pain and suffering of the individuals behind those acts and words.
We are intricately connected certainly by technology but also by the simple reality of interdependence. If we start with ourselves, start by nurturing the parts of us that are wounded or afraid, we begin to also heal the connections we have with others and the world. This is not make-believe, it is real. We may not affect the whole world at once by committing to act with love and kindness, but we affect those immediately surrounding us both physically and even through social media. Our kindness can spread like the greatest epidemic.
Please do not hide yourself away in the face of the world's broken heart. Continue to look deeply, with love at your own heart. Sometimes it may need protection but other times it is important that we step outside of that which covers over our tenderness and humanity. Our world needs us more than ever.
Commit to act with love.