by Michael Robins
I write this in hopes that it may bring more comfort, balance, and
peace to individuals in the world. The recent shocking assaults on Americans
have created unspeakable pain, confusion, and turmoil. We are at a great
crossroads where what we think and do individually and collectively
is critical. The stakes are high. I write this because I am hearing
so many strong voices of anger, defiance, and retaliation. These responses
are natural and understandable, and I am not judging those who are making
However, I want to put forth another perspective. I ask us to consider
for a moment why one of the greatest teachers the world has ever known
told us that we should love our enemies and forgive those who offend
us. He said these things because they align us with the laws of life.
This is not high-flying idealism, but practical principles of living.
We infallibly reap whatever we sow. We cannot escape the consequences
of our actions. What we do to others, we receive back upon ourselves.
That is why we are told to do unto others what we would have them do
unto us. Anger attracts anger, blame attracts blame, and violence attracts
violence, whereas love invites love, compassion invites compassion,
and forgiveness invites forgiveness.
It may be difficult now to temper our responses with the wisdom of
these principles, but the consequences of not tempering our responses
could be extremely unfortunate now. We do have the potential for the
creation of vast chaos and the destruction of our planet or the possibility
of creating peace. It is easy to raise our voices and fists in what
surely seems to be a righteous cause, and feel empowered by the adrenalin
rush of self-assertion, but it may be very shortsighted in the long
run. The extreme consequences of biological and nuclear war do not enter
our awareness when we are beating the drum of war. If the anger and
the cries for justice escalate us into activities that provoke the insanity
and sufferings of war, we may feel very differently down the road, when
we experience the chaos, madness, and extreme suffering and duration
of war. Our vision needs to be broader so we don't create extreme circumstances
now that we will be sorry for later.
We need to look at the deeper causes of anguish and violence and find
a way to heal it. There is a wound in our collective soul. We are all
part of one life, and anger and violence to any part only deepens the
wound and contributes to what we do not want. We need to look for answers
individually and collectively.
Reprinted with permission