"Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal." - Buddha from The Dhammapada
I have been contemplating this idea for some time now, having witnessed the unfortunate occurences of prejudicial judgment and/or discrimination and several examples of road rage and aggression. We hear statements such as waging a "war against terror", and having to "win the peace" (through fighting?). I always find statements such as these odd, the same way I find it odd for parents to hit their children and tell them not to hit others as a "lesson". My appologies to those who feel spanking children is a viable discipline tactic, but having been a parent for almost sixteen years, never spanking/hitting my children, and having them be quite disciplined, feel that it is absolutely not necessary. The question is then, how do we "battle" against hatred in a way that does not perpetuate hatred?
The suggested action is love and compassion. We have to engage our world with loving action to erase the hate that exists. A commitment to action is necessary. People in our culture seem to shy away from the word love. I have heard people say "you said the L word already!", or making disctinctions, "I love you, but I'm not in love with you". We categorize love and horde love as though we may run out of a certain kind. I am not saying that there are not unique aspects in how we express love with people. Certainly, sharing our love with a spouse takes on a different form than sharing our love with our children or our close friends. But, I do think we should love more, and express it often.
Now comes the difficult part, loving those who are the most difficult to love, our "enemies", or those who have caused us pain and distress. In the bible, Matthew 5:43 it states:
"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' 44 "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous..."
What a powerful statement!
What if all people in the world operated this way? My guess is that the distinction between Neighbor/Friend and Enemy would start to disappear and more loving action would occur.
How can we extend this love to those around us? I will leave that question to you and your circumstances, with the encouragement that it is entirely possible if you look closely.
May all beings be awake and experience love!