I no longer have the luxury of ignoring the rest of the world and pretending like I am just an American. Our borders, which separate and protect us, are the very things that are preventing us from our next stage in human evolution, peace and equality. Because of recent events, I’ve begun to ask myself the somber question, “would I be willing to give up my life so that others might live in peace, in freedom, with equality and actual justice.” How much of what I know and believe would I be willing to sacrifice in the name of peace and safety?
I ask this question because the world is clearly not yet ready for peace. We speak of wanting peace, we demand peace, and we even fight for peace. ( How, I wonder, will we ever find peace through war?) Like every single person I know, I want to be safe; I want to feel heard, respected, and treated justly. Though I am an American, I am fairly certain that all people, everywhere, want these things. These are the same things that animals want, plants too. Essentially, all living beings want to live, safely and comfortably. If my assertion that all beings want these things is true, I have to ask myself, “why is my need for safety, why is my love of my family or country, why is my health any more important than any other persons.” What makes me and mine matter more?
Now this is where the thoughts get a little scary, because this is the beginning of the realization that mine, my life, is simultaneously the most important and insignificant thing on Earth. Nothing matters more to me, and nothing matters less to everything else. With the exception of what I affect in the world, my life only really matters to me and mine. I love my life very much, but it is not any more important than any one else’s.
As I think more about what it means to be a yogi slowly walking the path toward enlightenment (I hope), and what it means to be a Boddhisatva, a living Buddha, I realize that… well first that I’ve got a shit ton of walking left to do! I know that I am a deeply flawed being, but I also know that to move toward enlightenment is to move toward love. Even if none of this (my life) ultimately matters, it does today, and if ultimately my life does matter, than what I do today is even more important. I will not let fear affect my ability to love anymore. Today I choose love unconditionally, even if it means my life matters a little less so that other lives can matter more.