as i was wondering to myself what to post- given the scarcity of peace in the world these days, i started thinking about the book i have been meditating on for a few weeks: 'mindful politics.' this is a book of essays written by buddhists on the topic of living a life of "engaged" buddhism. the topics cover a wide range and a couple have really stuck with me these last few weeks- one essay focused on forgiveness versus reconciliation and another spoke about respecting other people as fellow human beings- and how necessary it is to find a way to do that- for ourselves and for the rest of the planet. many of the authors spoke about how every being on this planet is interconnected and it is very true. many authors spoke about how difficult it is for westerners, with our polarizing culture, to really turn away from the 'us against them' mentality and work towards common ground. needless to say, it has been food for thought.
i started to think about the bush supporters (yep, still hanging in there at around 21 %) and the mccain supporters and the clinton supporters- and how very much i disagree with them. and i wondered- how can i search inside myself for a way to respect them? i still am struggling with this one. i struggle daily with the engaged buddhism thing too- because i have never been very social. but, i think i am making headway :) it occurred to me that my friend in my husband's office- is a republican. her sister is most likely a republican too. i buy organic meat from them and i sometimes go walking with my friend to talk things over- relationships and whatnot. it's a beginning. i haven't yet gotten to the place- and i may never (and i may not even need to)- where i can understand fellow human beings who simply cannot work with change. i like routine and stability too, but these folks fear change- and it colors the way they interact in the world- and with me.
and on the larger scale- it causes wars. greed and lust for power at the expense of other humans is something else i am having a difficult time with. no remorse. i wonder what in their lives could have happened to them to have made them into the dick cheneys and the karl roves and the donald rumsfelds. my buddhist authors also say that we should try to have an understanding of where people are so that we may communicate more effectively. i struggle with that one too. :)
we have invaded 2 sovereign nations and are directly responsible for or in collusion with nations who have invaded at least 2 more. america is not and really hasn't been a peaceful nation. for me, it is so very important for me to find inner peace so that i can face what is coming next. we wage wars elsewhere and keep our country intact- but i have a feeling that that will change in my lifetime. and it is difficult for me to think about but easier to understand because i do realize that actions and reactions are interconnected. our time here on earth is brief and whether we like it or not, always in a state of change. anyhoo, i don't know if i will ever understand human beings' desire to torture and kill other living beings. i don't really want to. i aim to be the change i seek- because in reality, it is all i can do.