the force

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So many of us are feeling edgy and unsure right now. The level of tension is rising palpably.

We deal with it in so many different ways. Some of us take up activism, making phone calls, sharing links to important information and getting on busses to attend marches around the country. Some of us prepare for the worst, stocking up on provisions, maybe even creating shelters from whatever apocalypse is coming our way. Some of us pray. Some of us keep right on playing Farmville.

I myself have done – or at least considered – each of these alternatives, but it is so hard not to panic a little, no matter what you do. From climate change to corporate greed to the political landscape, there is this vision of us all sliding into a future that does not resemble anything we can imagine or even talk about. It is a place where no one wants to be. No one. Sometimes it seems to me like a roar, a cacophony on full blast. A catastrophe is barreling towards us. What can we do?

Rather than thinking about doing, try thinking about being. Try being the change you want to see in the world. Try being peace.

I am convinced that non-violence is the only thing that is going to work. Practicing mindfulness and loving kindness is the most powerful force we have. Look at Turkey, where thousands of people have taken to simply standing in complete silence as a response to the actions of their government. They have baffled the police by simply creating a calm presence instead of creating aggression and tension.

We may not be able to escape the catastrophe, but this is beside the point. The sooner we start giving peace a chance, the better chance we have.

We must know one another. We must be friendly to everyone we meet, whether that person be homeless or homophobe. We are brothers and sisters. We all live together on the same planet. And we share so much! For example: in my limited research, people do not react badly to being smiled at while passing me in the street. It’s a commonality. A tiny one, but it is a wonderful one because people so often smile back.

Everyone on this planet needs the same things. Besides a safe place to live and food to eat and access to health care, everyone needs love and kindness and respect.

Non-violence is the force that will change the world.

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