Be Well Be Happy

I write this on St. Patrick’s Day evening after having had the pleasure of being a guest at a gathering complete with live Irish music at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club this afternoon. And I thought how great it is to gather together and feel safe and happy in a community. People tend to shed their differences, have a good time and wish each other well. It is simple fun, relaxation, connecting to others.

That is what community is about and we are fortunate. I can’t help think of people coming together, only having to be torn apart by violence and acts of hatred. How is this happening more and more in our times? What it speaks to is the power of intention—whether it be good or bad. While we may have differences on issues, violence and hatred, as a means of getting a point of view across, can never be the way to go. If we can get everyone to rally around this notion, perhaps this violent streak will stop. Hatred spurs violence. Violence spurs destruction of everything human.

The concept of “interdependence” speaks to this. In The Wisdom of Forgiveness, the Dalai Lama explains in an interview: “The theory of interdependence allows us to develop a wider perspective. With a wider mind, less attachment to destructive emotions like anger, therefore more forgiveness. In today’s world, every nation heavily interdependent, interconnected…; We’re not talking about the complete removal of feelings like anger, attachment or pride. Just reduction. We can say that the theory of interdependence is an understanding of reality. We understand that our future depends on global well-being. Having this viewpoint reduces narrow-mindedness. With a narrow mind, we’re more likely to develop attachment, hatred.

“When human emotions come out of control, then the best part of the brain in which we make judgments cannot function properly. Of course, some conflicts, some differences, will always be there. But we should use the differences in a positive way to try to get energy from different views. Try to minimize violence, not by force, but by awareness and respect. Through dialogue, taking others’ interests and then sharing one’s own, there is a way to solve the problems.” If all sides took an open, aware approach with the intent to get to some sort of understanding, hatred would be reduced.

I think we have to ask about motivation and result? What motivates someone to carry out an act of violence? The opposite of interdependence, the opposite of unity, the opposite of peaceful love. Destruction ensues, people are stunned and hurt, and the cycle of hatred gains momentum. We must hope for this cycle to stop through thoughtful contemplation, wide mind, respect for each other—from all sides. We must unite in heart and mind to expunge the hatred from our world. If not, what could be the outcome?

May you be happy. May you be free. May you be grateful. May you let go of things that do not serve you. May you have inner peace.

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