Can We Rise to the Challenge?
How can we respond to the things we see in the world which appear to be so wrong, so evil, so cruel and exploitive to other’s, in a manner which actually has an impact? Psychologically it is completely natural for us to respond strongly and emotionally to those things which we find offensive. This is afterall, part of how we define our own sense of self, our moral identities. By calling out those persons or activities we find so offensive we are not only expressing to the world our values, but we are also reinforcing our own beleif/intention of being a “good person”.
How can we think of ourselves as a “good person” if we dont passionately, angrily or judgementally call out or speak up about the evils in he world? Maybe the Eastern traditions can give us one possibility – cool heroism.
“By taking these three steps—finding one’s relation to all beings, acknowledging the evil potential in oneself, feeling sympathy for the evil person—one gets the strength and energy to be an activist and to try, by voting and organizing, to stop harm caused by others. This is cool heroism: developing a tolerant, deliberate, and wise energy.” (Robert Thurman)
Robert Thurman is one of North America’s greatest scholars of Tibetan Buddhism as well as the first American to be ordained in the Tibetan Tradition (studied alongside the 14th Dalai Lama). Also the co-founder and president of Tibet House and father of the actress Uma Thurman!
#robertthurman #buddhism #morality #philosophy