Martin Luther King, Jr. 739 words, 16K views, 28 comments
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On Dec 12, 2010Catherine Todd wrote :
Somik, I agree that this story about the nun being robbed and her companion's response is "very touching" (if that's what that statement is referring to), but I can assure you there is no way that I would ever feel "compassion" for people like that. Even if they were "spoken to" nicely or otherwise, there are people in this world who are just plain bad. Evil, if you will. "Speak to them" and they will strike or kill you, plain and simple. This is how I started off talking on this site: Do we have to be a "martyr for the cause?" What good does it do NOT to react with anger when people are killing you or stealing your things? What good does it do to do NOTHING in return to show them the error of their ways? Are we supposed to have "compassion" for the Nazis and the evil they did? Did we just need to "talk to them" and they would have laid down their guns and closed down the concentration camps and turned off the gas ovens?
How to reconcile all this? Should the Jews have just "prayed their way out of this?" Or faced death with compassion for the Germans?
All the meditaiton / compassion stuff in the world sounds good until I try to imagine really putting it into practice. What good does it do to lose your own life or your possessions or the life of your children and home for an attitude of "peace" that only allows evil and conflict to continue to flourish? Yes, you can't gain peace with war, perhaps, but you can sure let people know that if they try to make way with you, they will get what they give. And then some. Why do you think that Americans are so shocked that we were finally attacked? Because no one dared to do it before.
My response was "what took them so long?" since we have been attacking others all over the world. Not a popular response, to be sure, but I would hate to be a weak country that gets blasted over and over again by bullies and those stronger than them. I would prefer to be a "neutral country" but as long as you have something that someone else wants, look out. They are going to try and take it.
So does this mean we just wish the robbers well and hope they enjoy the "good vibes" from our things and our teachings, and give up whatever we have to the bullies and the devils in this world? I'm not a mouse. I am a tiger. I'm not here to be eaten by the others. I don't cause trouble but if trouble comes I don't run away. And people only try to overtake me once. I don't start anything, but if trouble comes, I put a stop to it. I've taken away knives, guns and broken bottles and put a stop to many a fight. I have gone in to protect those weaker than me to put a stop to beatings and more. But I am never "happy" for people have done wrong.They need to learn in the shortest amount of time NEVER to act that way again.
I'm not saying I am right, but I don't know how to live any other way. I've seen too many people take the coward's way out, saying they don't want "violence" and they want "peace" when really they don't stand up for themselves or anyone else and then the bad ones take over.
Who wants to live in a completely corrupt society run by killers and theives? Isn't that what this kind of thing actually leads to? Where is this "nirvana" society where people don't care if they live or they die as long as someone else gains "good vibes" from the evil that they have done?
HELP! I do not understand. Maybe I don't belong here after all, or I have far too much to learn. I really don't know. But I know that in the cases where someone has tried to rob me, it isn't going to happen and they wouldn't even dare to try. I am glad for that. I prefer to feel safe wherever I go, because I know I can take care of myself and the bad guys know it too. I am therefore left alone in peace!
Somik, you wrote: "I liked the word "creative temple" very much, and it brought up for me a term in India, "karma bhoomeee," which translates to "field of action." Field is quite appropriate, for we plant seeds with our actions, and the fruits we get now are from seeds planted in the past. If we keep planting high quality seeds, then there will come a time that someone will benefit from it. If many of us thought that way, then we would end up converting our field of action into a creative temple. In many ways, I find the space of Wednesdays to be like a creative temple given the beautiful seeds that have been planted over the years."
This is a beautiful statement, and as a master gardener myself, one I can really appreciate. But what would it be like if your Wed's were abruptly put a stop to by political or religious persecution? What would all these "seeds" be worth then? Or if your beautiful "temple" was destroyed by outside forces of hatred and greed?
This is where I get confused. I live in a neighborhood where this has taken place, on the physical plane. I used to believe in "planting seeds" and "showing compassion" and that people ultimately or innately were "good." Now I see differently, and I don't see a way back.
Please advise. When is acting in "nonviolence" just plain cowardice? How to know the difference?