Monday, May 8, 2023

The Basic Basics

     It's eye-opening to periodically travel to another country. Just taking off in a plane, I feel as if I'm leaving all my usual concerns & responsibilities behind, and a whole new world of possibilities seems to open up. We see more clearly who / what WE are - or want to be!

    Individually, most of us, especially in our “WIERD” (Western Industrialized Educated Rich & Democratic) culture, have a gnawing, usually unexamined sense of "lack," "not enough."
get a group of insecure individuals together, it's very easy to rouse an energized mob mentality. Populist politicians expertly manipulate mobs to do anything at all. Throughout history, we've done, & continue doing, every type of collective bullying - "rape, pillage & plunder" - at least partially to avoid our personal nagging inferiority complex. We've called group bullying different names in different times: feudalism / monarchy / dictatorship, patriarchy / sexism / misogyny, religious conflicts, colonialism, slavery, multinational corporations, racism, etc. The ultimate result is always destruction of intelligent, nurturing collaboration and along with it, indigenous peoples & cultures.

    Bullies with the most powerful military, defeat & impose their own political, financial & religious ideas on the vanquished. In their enthusiasm to plunder, invaders are ignorant & intolerant of the human beings, ways of life, values & cultures they destroy. The "winners" go on to write creative history & celebrate their victory over "savages, heathens, etc." "Might makes right!"

    All colonial powers profited immensely from plundering former colonies. Other nations also profited from centuries of free slave labor. "The typical wealth of the 600-700 aristocratic families in Britain is estimated at about £16-20 million ... you likely can double it to account for estate planning." 
    Especially those who've profited most from centuries of bullying, would do well to humbly face the often lurid details of how their personal fortunes were made, and tone down the self-satisfied celebratory hubris. Those of us who've earned our own way in life from nothing might find it easier to empathize with the less fortunate, and be more generous & nurturing.

    Embodying our true nature, imho, is our ONLY security - to nurture all, and in the process, heal ourselves & our planet.

Even as a parent protects with their life  
their child, their only child,  
so, with a boundless heart  
should one cherish all living beings!

Radiating kindness over the entire world ...
freed from hatred and ill-will.
This is what should be done  
by those who are skilled in goodness.

The Metta Sutta (The Buddha's Words on Lovingkindness)

‎⁨St Mary Redcliffe Church⁩, ⁨Bristol⁩, ⁨England

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