The Path to Twitter Peace.
This morning as I was driving to work a young woman swerved recklessly into my lane. My first response was a knee-jerk reaction, to move quickly out of the way. Followed, in turn, by anger. Did she not see me? What was she thinking? Couldn’t she have been more careful?
I didn’t know this woman, nor could I have possibly understood her circumstances. Maybe, she was ill? Or, perhaps there was a fault with the car? So many factors to consider, though – nonetheless, in that split second she became a threat.
As she drove away (and all were confirmed safe), that should have been the end of it. Yet, there was a certain sense still lingering – the sting of reaction in response to our fear.
Though the two often appear inseparable, there is a profound delineation. Reaction, empowering our view of ‘self’ and response, measuring our love of all else.
We are defined not by our moments, but rather our response to them. The late for work panicked rush, the spilled coffee and inconsiderate drivers.
As the Buddha taught, we should strive to be liberated from – not bound to – our anger. “In this world, hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.”
And yet, as I sift through the headlines and Twitter feeds this morning I am struck by our recklessness towards it. We have established this global platform to raise awareness, though sadly – it’s being utilized to wage war.
Just as the young woman swerving into traffic, our first instinct is to react – to blast the horn, to scream and shout. But, what does that gain in the end? Equanimity, tolerance and engaged compassion? Or, the substance for further divide?
Jack Kornfield writes,
“In our hardships, we discover the courage not to succumb, not to retreat, not to strike out in fear and anger. And by resting in a non-contentious heart we become a lamp, a medicine, a strong presence; we become the healing the world so dearly needs.”
In peace, my sweet friends…