Everyday kindness as the antidote to violence

Context: I wrote this after the terrible Boston Marathon bombings in 2013.

There are many disheartening news, heart-wrenching stories about civilians getting killed, attacks on innocent people, senseless aggression.  The world, as seen through the lenses of what the news portrays, looks bleak.   Our sense of security proves to be just a creation in our head, quite illusory, and although we must do what we can through legislation to reduce violence and senseless killings, the more powerful antidote to this is to bring out of everyone what truly makes humanity special, our sense of love and compassion for each other.  There is true goodness in everyone, but it needs to be nurtured through our everyday interactions, and this is something that we each are responsible for.  Bullying, racism, discrimination, hatred… are actions that will make all of us weaker.  Were we to teach everyone to be kind and compassionate, rather than strive to follow a creed and seek power & influence, we would not need legislation to protect ourselves from each other.

We often think that parents are the ones responsible for educating their children and teaching them all these good values.  But, as part of society and a community, we are all responsible for the impact we have in each other’s lives, be it through direct interaction or through ignoring what’s wrong. With over 7 billion people in this world, there will always be conflict, good & evil will always coexist, but as we allow for the good in people, the compassion, to flourish and continue spreading through small everyday actions, evil will remain controlled, and we will continue to live and make the most of this world.

Nothing can be taken for granted, so we should strive to make the most out of every single day we are gifted.  The following quote by the Dalai Lama gives me strength in weeks like this one and reminds me that by doing good for others not only do I help improve the world, but I also do good to my own soul.

“Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
– H.H. The 14th Dahlai Lama

Last Updated on January 14, 2023 by Omar Eduardo


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