"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

A world in urgent need of more compassion...

In a week when the crisis in Syria escalates, and when retiring Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks is quoted as saying that mankind has "lost the plot", it is sobering to reflect on the fact that man’s place in nature is unique. He is not only conscious of his own evolution, but he can shape his evolutionary future by how he behaves. And we surely behave badly!

Sure, we commit acts of violence against each other and against ourselves, of a physical and brutal nature, that is widely seen across our media. But this violence can be more subtle, such as verbal abuse and childhood bullying. There is aggression and violence in our homes, on our streets, and between communities as well as between nations.

And that is not all. We also commit acts of violence against the environment, manifested in pollution, soil erosion, species extinctions and perhaps in some of the effects of climate change we are now experiencing. We are all guilty of thoughtless and selfish patterns of behavior that can so often directly or indirectly contribute to the suffering of others.

The real problem is that on its own no amount of any rule and regulation, law or leadership, will change the way we behave. Rather than having regulation thrust upon us, we need to understand why we behave as we do and really commit our hearts and our minds to the need for change. Perhaps that means tracing our behavior back to the healing needs of our own wounds. This does not mean our physical wounds, but the wounds we have inherited and those from our own suffering, from the way we react to personal experiences that life has thrown at us: our insecurities and fears, our feelings of hopelessness and despair, that can be reflected in greed and envy, in over-consumption, violence and addictions to work or harmful substances.

Our unhealed wounds are potentially dangerous not only for our own personal well being but for the future of the world. We are in grave danger of being driven by our present behavior to spiritual bankruptcy and physical destruction. Action is urgent.

To find healing and wholeness we need to reconnect with our roots, with our souls, rediscovering our spirituality and our faith, and healing those wounds. And once we have found healing for our wounds, we may even discover that we are uniquely equipped to understand the wounds of others, to walk alongside them and assist them in their own healing process. We will feel a profound and healing compassion towards all sentient beings. This is what it means to be a Wounded Healer.  And this is surely our future. Is it too much to hope for?

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