Thursday’s Compassion Quotes – Week 4

“We often think of peace as the absence of war; that if the powerful countries would reduce their arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we see our own minds – our prejudices, fears, and ignorance. Even if we transported all the bombs to the moon, the roots of war and the reasons for bombs would still be here, in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we would make new bombs. Seek to become more aware of what causes anger and separation, and what overcomes them. Root out the violence in your life, and learn to live compassionately and mindfully.”

— Thich Nhat Hanh

This brings up the burning question, which I was reminded of again the other day by a post, and small comment discussion, on Rethinking Life: Does human nature really allow for the possibility of true peace in the world? Sadly, the answer is probably ‘no’, but I choose to believe that we can, individually, make a difference, albeit in a small way, within our own spheres of influence. And one can hope that if enough of us act with respect and compassion, then the sphere gets larger. Maybe we will never see a positive change globally, but perhaps we can help achieve one locally. If nothing else, we will have made our own corner of the universe a better place, and ourselves into better humans.

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6 thoughts on “Thursday’s Compassion Quotes – Week 4”

  1. yes – that really is the message here. self-compassion, self-regard, self-respect – until we can manage these things, managing respect & compassion for others is very close to impossible to achieve.

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  2. One of my teachers was discussing “ahimsa” many years ago. Ahimsa is roughly translated as “non-harming” or “do no harm” etc. In his talk he was saying how most people want to tackle this on a big level, like ending global wars. The gist was that until we can do ahimsa on and for ourselves, the big-picture things aren’t likely. Non-harming ourselves isn’t all that easy, with negative self-talk, habits, and all sorts of things. If one is relatively advanced in a path and is pretty good with self-ahimsa, then it should be expanded to the immediate family, then neighbors, etc. (Although it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.) This is a very short recap of an hour-long talk but hopefully the main point is there. If we all looked after our own selves a lot of the bigger bad things wouldn’t happen.

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  3. I am reminded of lyrics by John Lennon from Instant Karma. “Why in the world are we here? Surely not to live in pain and fear”. Those words have gotten me through some tough times because Peace is not something that we are given, ironically it is something that we have to fight and struggle for against the world that has forgotten the idea in the first place.

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