sometimes the world can be a cruel and utterly unbearable place to be, this compounded by the fact I was cursed with the sensitve nature of a three year old girl visiting places like the killing fields and the genocide museum in Cambodia are exceptionally difficult for me. Nearly 20,000 people massacred and thousands more during the Khmer Rouge regime. The horrors of the past could almost be forgivable if humanity had learned it’s lesson but we continue to make the same mistakes repeatedly or more accurately the citizens of the world have failed to remove those in power who mastermind these atrocities.
In an attempt to find answers and diminish even in the slightest the unbearable pain I cannot seem to let soak in my being like a sponge in the depths of the oceans I’ve asked numerous monks, guru’s, sadhu’s and spiritual leaders for answers. A small degree of instant relief comes when I see the true genuine nature of their eyes when I pose these questions. A curious case to those who have dedicated their lives to serving others I am since most days the monks express to westerners how the root of suffering is desire and once they genuinely see my desire is sincerely altruistic we converse on a new level, I do not desire objects and this is a very rare thing for westerners according to the monks. I desire freedom from suffering for myself and equally if not more for others but apparently that’s not desire. Some days it is hard to stomach the fact that according to google approximately 240 million people have died due to war in the 20th century. The more I learn the more I internalize, feel, empathize with the victims and at one point in my personal darkness and sadness I desperately wanted to be like everyone else, to shake it off, to not give a fuck, not care, turn the other way. I must admit the easy way, the looking the other would give my soul some great relief but it’s not for me and the real frustration comes from feeling and caring so much but not being able to do a god damn thing about it, which brings me back to the venerated ones.
A Sadhu gives up all worldly possessions to serve others and become a servant of the people as do monks, these people literally dedicate their lives to the good of humanity and are among the purest souls in the world today. When I pose these questions and get into deep conversation the monks seem to have a congruent and aggravating answer and that is to show them compassion. It may be well and good to show compassion to those few terrible people how have the capability to wage war or inflict genocide on people but it’s not easy and doesn’t give me much relief. I’ve come to the understanding the only relief comes from doing the small things, from doing what you can to help others in your immediate surrounding on a daily basis and if ever the day comes when I can do more I will jump on the opportunity with full commitment. This life is a complicated one and the darkness and tragedy of humanity is utterly despicable and hard for me to bare. I am able to carry on some days forgetting for all too brief periods of time the suffering that is happening at this moment from famine, suppression, and man made depression around the world. In this state of mind I am in no help to others, I am a catalyst for depression when my objection is liberation of myself and others.
The world will always be a dark place and we need to find the light, we need to look for the good, we need to persevere. It is our responsibility as a people and my generations specifically to begin the process of cultivating a culture of love and compassion, a sane culture where we care for each other and are tolerant of our differences. I truly believe deep down 99% of people are truly good but we are forced into positions and manipulated to the point we are willing to do things contrary to our true selves. Today it is my mission to show love, today I will smile and spread genuine happiness, when I see the opportunity to help I will seize it, I will show others not everyone is selfish, that people do genuinely care about others. I will maintain this attitude for as long as possible until the darkness forces itself upon me once again . . .
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.” Gandhi
“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.” Jonathan Safran Foer
This brought a poem to mind:
promise me this day,
promise me now,
while the sun is overhead
exactly at the zenith,
Even as they
strike you down
with a mountain of hatred and violence;
even as they step on you and crush you
like a worm,
even as they dismember and disembowel you,
man is not our enemy.
The only thing worthy of you is compassion:
invincible, limitless, unconditional.
Hatred will never let you face
the beast in man.
One day, when you face this beast alone,
with your courage intact, your eyes kind,
untroubled (even as no one sees them),
out of your smile will bloom a flower.
And those who love you
will behold you
across ten thousand worlds of birth and dying.
I will go on with bent head,
knowing that love has become eternal.
On the long, rough road,
the sun and the moon
will continue to shine.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
that’s a great poem man, thanks for the comment!