Ignoring something doesn’t help make the world a better place and according to a Buddhist teaching I listened to, I now understand the difference between non violence and non action.
For a long time, I thought the best position to take was that of no comment. Not because I didn’t have an opinion, but because I hated confrontation. Then one day, while I was talking to my boyfriend who quite often brings up controversial topics, I took my usual neutral position to which he grew flustered and basically said, that I couldn’t continue to ignore everything. At that moment, it occurred to me that having no position isn’t necessarily the best way to be because people just assume that you live in a bubble and aren’t aware or don’t concern yourself with what is going on. When that was in fact, so far from the truth because I care, actually, I care a lot.
Is there a karmic result for not helping a situation?
When I work on some photo editing, quite often, I listen to either music or something spiritual depending on what I need most that day. On this particular day, I listened to a spiritual talk called ” the karmic result of not helping a situation“. Referring to many countries who are experiencing countless atrocities and being forced to flee their lands or convert to whatever the hostile side is demanding; one of the audience members asked the speaker, “How can someone who’s ongoing nature and path is to peaceful, avoid being involved in controversial situations whatever scale they may be? “. “Is the answer to run away to avoid it? “
Doing nothing to avoid conflict isn’t always the answer.
When I heard the response, it was as if another window was opened along the road to my spiritual path. If you don’t stand for something, you will always be running. Ignoring a situation that hurts others with the mentality that it’s not affecting you will almost guarantee you the karmic result of that same issue being at your doorstep one day. I think it’s fair to say that in the most basic general way, every person deserves a chance at happiness. When that chance is taken away from someone, we all become at risk of it being taken from us.
So, although the speaker did not encourage violence, he also did not encourage passivity.
I could not even begin to suggest solutions in such horrific situations and I do not think there is any one solution to finding ways to help a situation like that but I certainly think about it often.
In our own daily lives, just being an advocate for compassion can take a tiny bit of anger out of a conversation and create the scenario for a more open mind. As we all know, the result of these hostile situations has created a domino effect in the migration of millions of displaced families to our own lands. How would you feel if you were in the shoes of those families. I personally cannot imagine.
So my big lesson that day was not to always avoid conflict for fear of confrontation but instead to be courageous and risk adversity and hope that in the very least, with having done my own research, I can properly support my position and be respected for at least having one. xo
Inspired by the talks of Ajahn Brahm.
Images above are of our local yogi, AshleyAnne Brown.