Violence is a common trap in our modern society, where we are constantly exposed to violence as an acceptable mode of operating. Not only do we have to overcome our base animal tendencies, but we also have to purify from socially-acceptable manners of behavior.

 

For example, in our society it is accepted that from time to time our actions may hurt others. Moreover, it even becomes a method of getting what we desire. Soap operas, films, books, and the news love to capitalize on our fears and fear-induced emotions, as well as on our natural and powerful aversion (and attraction) to these conflicts. We have become a world that consumes drama on a daily basis and its power comes from disharmony, fear, and violence.

 

This is a distortion of the art of drama, as originally theatrical performances were intended to powerfully evoke emotions in order to inspire the introspection and contemplation of profound issues.

 

Violence is being used to hide our weak points from ourselves and others, to remain with our hearts closed, obscured by judgments, resentments, and actions which cannot be forgiven. Violence is separating and alienating. It would be naive to think that the nectar of harmony, love, and compassion can flow into our lives without making a commitment to investigate and outgrow the roots of violence. Such is the Eastern saying referring to karma: “One keeps wanting to eat mangoes, but all he keeps planting is neem seeds” (the neem plant being known for its bitterness).

As much love and compassion as we cultivate in our lives, is what we plant in the hearts of the ones we love. Perhaps one day we will be blessed to become lovers of all hearts.

 

“All men should be willing to engage in the risk and wager of ahimsa, because violent policies have not only proved bankrupt but threaten man with extinction.” -Thomas Merton

(quoted by Eknath Easwaran in Your Life is Your Message)

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