If we suffer, make we suffer as one!
Human Rights – Rights that Humans have.
What are rights? Rights are privileges granted to everyone. Why not everything?
Rights given to all living beings?
I was in Varanasi, India, and witnessed how cows were honored and venerated, chickens slaughtered in public, and dogs and kittens kicked for no reason other than being there.
What makes humans put ourselves on such a pedestal, while some animals, in some places, are elevated the level of appreciation they are practically deified, and the rest as subordinate and infinately less worth?
Animal Rights, rights that animals can’t ask for – more than certainly would appreciate, but cannot receive without human help, fight, and the willingness to be mocked and ridiculed by our own kind for doing so.
“If we suffer, make we suffer as one!”
The Rastafari movement has much in common with eastern philosophies in regards of respecting the sanctity of life. Vegetarianism and the concept of “one love”, very much resembles the Buddhist ideals of not inflicting any intentional suffering on any living (sentient) being, and bodhicitta.
What is love? As Haddaway asked: the definition goes: Baby, don’t hurt me.
You would not intentionally hurt anything you truly love. Be that your friends, family, pets, plants or possessions. Why do some love only what is theirs?
Because of the misunderstood detachment from the fact that in any given situation, or outcome of one, it could be.
“A friend is a stranger you met many times”
– Magdi Omar Ytreeide Abdelmaguid
I have had the privilege of meeting many people, from all walks of life, more than once. Beggars, obscenely rich, radicals, conservatives, good christians, good satanists, white, black, yellow, brown, beige, thug, bitch, punk, nerd, those who loved me, those who who have taken a shot at my life, those who have tried to provoke me into taking theirs, both of the latter have been (phew!) failures that led to success.
Some of them, are people who I would consider my friends and greatest teachers today. The power of seeing the best in those who see the worst in yourself, allows you to be open and direct in ways, those who would flat out knock you out for a minor misdemeanour remark, usually never would accept. Especially if it came from someone as non-conforming to their views as you might be.
The question is: Would you be willing to offer your compassion to something that would kill you in a heartbeat if the opportunity presented itself?
How about something you would kill in a heartbeat if the opportunity offered itself?
– Like a cow.
Or if you were Vietnamese, Korean or Chinese: cats, dogs, and other animals you might find too adorable and kind to eat. Or “holy” as some would coin it.
Would you suffer with the creatures you love, the same, perhaps even more and perhaps to a higher extent, to prove a point?
If those creatures were your loved ones? How about your pet? Your pet’s kin? How about all of it’s kind? How about all of your own kind? How about all of life, altogether?
What kind of miserable hell would you have to go through, in order to prove a point through such a thing? What point?
Life is sacred!
How dare you violate it? Food? Fair enough. For sports? How about you put your own child in the middle of a dog fight and imagine the dogs are matadors going at a bull?
The idea of a bullfight would be so abhorrent in India, words do not exist to describe it. So why not in Spain?
A group of grown men with spears and blades, going at an animal trained not to fight back. Human bravery knows no limits, does it? It takes a special breed of aggressive dog to rip a child to pieces. It takes an average man to torture an animal to death for cheers.
If we can not suffer as one, we can bear testimony of the misery we more than willingly impose on all but ourselves. Including ourselves, that is. For profit, though. And for cheers. Though, not in stadiums. We are not Roman barbarians, are we?
No. Surely not.
We watch the news and say “Die, scum! May our brave heroes end the existence of your foul, wretched hordes of savages!” – Quite civil and peacefully, we do so, sipping a brew and genuinely hating a bit for laughs and frustration that would not be there, if we ever took the time to see the best in others, where they would see the worst in us.
Why would you see the best in someone that sees the worst in you? Because it can change them to their very core.
There was a picture of a duckling on an Internet forum, with the caption “Be kind to everything that lives”
“Why should I be kind to all that lives, when all that lives is not kind to me?” A person asked in the thread.
Below it, someone had replied: “Do you expect them to be, with that mindset? If so, why? Someone has to show something compassion first, in order for them / it to realize it is given by others… to them too… will you choose to make an effort / contribution, or just expect others to do it, then just reap the benefits, and no more?”
“How do you find drive in life?… when you fully awaken and realize everything is fake.. no meaning nor purpose,… how?”
Someone retorted, “…my friend, when you awaken and realize everything is fake, you find the ultimate purpose possible to find.. Improve that fucker with all your might! Make it better, make it geniune, make it loving, make it better.
Dont sink into nihilism, when you can arise to bliss!”
“If we suffer, make we suffer as one!”
Upon hearing this song for the first time, a sudden, unexpected, yet, supremely profound sense of “Fuck you, I love you!” emanated from my entire being. If you suffer, friend, I might not be able to guide you to the light that so painfully blinds your eyes at the moment, but I’ll sit in the dark with you and build a blanket fort to keep the light out. You open up easier in the darkness? I’ll switch off the lights. Share your story. Tell me why you hate me. I’ll listen, I won’t judge you for hating me, I’ll just geniuenly wonder why?
Have we met, friend? Well, now we have. Have we before? We have not. Have you met my kin? My tribe? Have you heard stories of some who claim to be a part of it, and decided I am genetic waste, because of someone else’s actions? Someone who claimed my beliefs and killed in the name of them?
No, brother. I am not muslim. I am buddhist.
A discussion between an angry muslim and a misled, deluded buddhist can lead to disaster nowadays. A dialogue between a devout muslim and a likeminded buddhist can be quite fruitful. I am a buddhist born in a muslim country. There was about zero, to minus three degrees of religion in my upbringing. The only person in my entire family, who was even remotely religious to any extent, at all, was my late grandmother. She was the most devout muslim I have ever encountered, but she never preached a single sentence from scripture. If anything, it was a raised finger up by her right cheek, a hilariously serious shusshing gesture, in the form of a slightly loud whistling “Sssssssss…. Now listen here your little shit.”
Then again, she was the pray five times a day, then tell doodoo jokes to a 4-year old type.
When I was a child, my nan came to visit us in Norway. My mother, my granny, and some friends were in a car accident, and luckily, they all somehow miraculously survived, with not too serious injuries.
My nan, however, had to wear a medical collar for the rest of her visit, and needed help to eat, drink, go to the bathroom, and all the other things a 9-year old simply cannot be bothered to help out with 24/7. I treated my beloved nan horribly at times. Making gagging noises at her bedpan, and not offering to be that thing she always saw me as. I saw the worst in her those weeks, she never stopped looking at me like I was her all and everything.
An odd comparison – your grandma and yourself at 9, and someone wanting you dead and yourself as a grown-up.
It is the same sentiment, though. That person, is myself, and I am my grandmother at that point. Regardless of how wretched and horrid this person’s preconceptions of you might be, it is likely to be false. Why prove him right by giving in to the stereotypes and hatred based on someone else’s hatred – not your own love?
Show that love, like he has seen the other guy’s hatred. He might initially not even try to belive you, and heavily question your motives. But what if it was the other way around? You met someone who perfectly fit the mold for all you detest, but just hold up, and let go of who you think you might have in front of you, and find out who you in fact have in front of you. It is with utmost certainty, a human being. With all their individual flaws and supremes, like all those you love. No doubt more flaws, according to you. Then again, they would say the same about you… You are both wrong.
I had the privilege of meeting a far right political refugee and illegal immigrant from Europe, in Asia. He did of course not label himself as such, but everything he told me, fit the bill. He had grown tired of being persecuted by the authorities and hated by his own for his views, because of those damn illegal immigrants. How do they get such easy access to Europe? It’s not fair. Why can’t I stay here in Asia? Those foreigners get everything served up on silver platters, while I have to hide from Asian authorities not to get deported, his frustration came running out.
My thoughts were “Dude, you kinda are an illegal immigrant. Believe it or not, from the way you are describing things, you also are a refugee… Who just happens to hate everything you currently, at this very moment, happen to be yourself. With a minor, not very insignificant twist. You are white. In Asia. You are practically worshipped and looked up to in a way even most locals never will be. The colour of your skin alone makes you attractive here. Try being what you are right now, as black or brown in Europe with the people you currently have on you ass, on your ass. Add to that, yourself before you got here. How that sound?”
I didn’t say this to him in these words, though. That kind of directness is reserved for those who have emptied themselves and are ready to hear it. So I heard him out, told him that, in a somewhat more diplomatic terms and sent him off to find a monastery.
“If we suffer, make we suffer as one!”
If we make it, make it we make it come come, together we come one and the hatred undone.
Seeing the best in others, who would see the worst in you until proven otherwise – will prove it otherwise – when you lend an ear instead of a middle finger and a I-will-give-you-a-chance-when-you-have-shown-yourself-worthy-of-my-time-of-day: Be worthy your own self worth and see that person’s worth. The most worthless things tend to be the greatest treasures in this world.
Like befriending some stranger who would kill you on the streets if you gave him the wrong look, while having the wrong look – and showing him that the way he looks when he summons the courage to look at himself like that, is so goddamn beautiful it gives you hope for all humanity.
“Be the change you want to see in the world”
– Mahatma Ghandi
What change do you want to see in the world? Be it.