A Buddhist monk friend, Venerable Bhante Sujatha, travels worldwide spreading the message of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a practice where one becomes aware of their thoughts, feelings, environment in the present moment and chooses not to judge, or at the very least, think about the best possible solution for everyone, the most peaceful way, before speaking or acting.
"Before we say or do or act, we have to think!" says Bhante.
Yesterday, Bhante, has a conversation with blogger, Tyler Lewke, and wished to address the aftermath of the U.S. 2016 elections.
He said, "I am asking all the people who use social media to please write a peaceful letter to the whole world, then ask people to share your beautiful world. That is the best way I know to create peace. One at a time."
My letter to the world goes like this:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The world is torn. The U.S. is divided by the recent election results which is causing an increase in hate crimes and hate spewed comments online and in social media. The U.K. is still reeling from the Brexit vote. Over 400,000 people have died in Syria. There are 21.3 million refugees in the world (half are children) according to The UN Refugee Agency. Indigenous people in North Dakota are protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline to preserve water and sacred land for generations to come. Half of the world's population lives in poverty. These are just a few of the many issues that are making people's head reel with frustration, anger and hopelessness.
But I ask you this. When has the world not been torn apart? For as long as humans have existed, or so it seems, we have been oppressing a group of people, creating war and condemning people for their differences.
I want to be angry. I want to scream and cry and tie everyone in a chair and tell them how they should behave. This however, is not conducive to how I want to live my life. I have no right to believe my opinion is greater than or better than yours. So, instead, I offer you my love. I offer you my compassion. I offer you the promise to continue to cultivate myself towards these practices so that I may contribute something positive to the world.
When you need someone to stand with you against oppression. I will stand with you. When you need a shoulder to cry on, I will listen. When you need a hug, I will open my arms for you. I will think of 1,000 ways to love you. I will be mindful of my thoughts. I may not agree with you. I may not want to support you. I may not always understand you, but I will meet you in a peaceful place of compassion. This is how I can contribute to the world. It is the only way left for me.