“People never harm others out of joy, they give pain to others because they too are hurt or in pain.” ~Sobonfu Somé
It’s not selfish to seek to heal our own pain or to create more joy in our lives because it doesn’t just make our lives better, it also stops the spread of pain when we reduce our own pain. Pain is contagious because hurting people hurt others.
“Extend the circle of ‘us’ to include as much of the world as you possibly can.” ~Rick Hanson
Violence, hatred, cruelty, and conflict are fueled by the illusion that there is a “them” separate from “us.” The only cure is embracing the radical truth that there is no “them.” There is only “us.”
In this election season of focusing on our differences even more than usual, the practice of extending our circle of “us” (even to those we disagree with) is a challenging and much-needed practice of peace.
Image adapted from one shared by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay
“Lovingkindness is a profound recognition that our lives have something to do with one another, that everyone counts, everyone matters.” ~Sharon Salzberg
Lovingkindness is more than just a vague sense of well wishing for others. It’s a deep knowledge that we are all connected and are all one in ways that are deeper than words than convey. It’s knowing and acting on the reality that everyone does count and everyone does matter.
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay
“Even if we disagree about everything, we can still be kind to each other.” ~Matthew L. Jacobson
We are so quick to dehumanize those we disagree with and treat them with unkindness, but it is possible to be kind to even those who disagree with us. Kindness makes the world a better place for all of us.
Adapted from an image shared by Bao_5 on Pixabay
The sincere friends of this world are as ship lights in the stormiest of nights. ~Giotto di Bondone
True friends are precious treasures. Don’t forget to let them know how much they mean to you!
Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay