A closed mouth gathers no foot. - My Dad
Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. - My Mom
I’ll lift you and you lift me and we'll both ascend together. - John Greenleaf Whittier
If you ever get lonely you just go to the record store and visit your friends. - Penny Lane
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud became more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anais Nin
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. - Dalai Lama
When the student is ready, the master appears. - Buddhist Proverb
Whatever you look for in others tends to rise to the surface. - Unknown
If you’re smilin with the cosmos the motherfuckin cosmos is smiling back at ya. - Chris Robinson
Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful. - Buddha
January 30, 2013
Love, Peace, and Frying Pan Grease
Kindness, altruism, patience, forgiveness...basic stuff. The one thing I'm having a little bit of a hard time with is empathy (not to be confused with sympathy). Putting yourself in someone else's shoes, understanding why it is they are feeling what they're feeling and acting the way they're acting, and possibly relating to their turmoil because you would feel and act in the same manner.
I know of a few people who behave badly by choice. They know better but they seemingly don't care about how their words and actions affect others. They are genuinely hurtful and mean-spirited, bitter and angry, and they will lie to your face without even flinching. Total cocksuckers. They behave in ways I cannot understand and quite frankly would never even want to understand. There will be no exchanging shoes with them.
Most spiritual practices teach that forgiveness is the way to peace, and I believe this. Buddhism teaches you to send "love and light" to those you have a negative association with, meaning you have a willingness to see all things with compassionate and all-accepting eyes. That shit is tough to do.
So, my question is, how am I supposed to feel empathy (or sympathy for that matter) for people who consciously choose to conduct their lives in a way that I find despicable? And that most of society as a whole finds to be despicable also? And how am I supposed to send them love and light when all I want to do is pour grease on them and set them on fire? Clearly this goes beyond your general run of the mill act of forgiveness. This one will require some heavy soul searching.
I know that shitty childhoods can create shitty adults, but I have some friends that have had it really tough and they are kind, decent, and wonderful people. They do not let their horrific past define who they are in their present life.
Since my exposure to these assholes has been ramped up a bit lately, I feel that this should be my latest spiritual project. Love and light. It may be the hardest one I've undertaken so far but I feel as though I am up to the task. The past 5 months in my wonderful world have been so triumphant and life changing, I am ready to conquer anything.