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Lions Roar : January 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2012 21 EVERYONE HERE IS AN EXAMPLE of something I’ve been wishing for for many years. You are what I call “cool heroes.” By cool I mean nonviolent. Cool heroes are people who are force- ful, intelligent, just, and insightful, who can speak up loudly and clearly, but without getting angry or indulging in hatred. We need cool heroes today. We don’t need hot heroes. You’re happier than the violent people. Look at you; you’re all smiling. The final completion of the American revolution has to be fun, nonviolent, and determined while cool. As Gandhi said, peace has to be the path to peace. Violence will never be the path to peace. Jesus said “Love thine enemy!” The Buddha said that hatred will not put an end to hatred. Only nonhatred and love will put an end to hatred. We are here at Liberty Plaza because we’re trying to keep lib- erty alive on this planet. This planet is in dire jeopardy because of the military-industrial machine, which is beyond East and West. The industrial part represents organized greed. It expands the greed of individuals with hi-tech power and it is exceeding the capacity of the planet. Pollution, global warming, and over- population come from this technological expansion of greed. On the other side, we have hatred. This necessarily goes along with greed, because greedy people hate other greedy people, whom they assume are trying to take away whatever it is they want. We need to control both greed and hatred. But to do that, every person has to control the greed and hatred in their own minds. No one should be protesting against nasty bankers if they really hate them. They are not deserving of being hated; they are suffering people just like us. At the moment they may seem luckier than us, but in the long run they are unluckier. They are taking away too much from too many, and this makes them paranoid and unhappy. They need ten million dollars, and when they get it, they want a hundred. And when they’ve got a hundred million dollars, they want a billion. By then they’re on their fourth trophy wife, their kids can’t stand them, and they are literally afraid of everyone. Therefore, we don’t hate the bankers and traders of Wall Street whose offices overlook us. They are objects of sympathy and compassion. Actually, I think people shouldn’t be allowed to graduate from business school without getting an education in what enlightened self-interest really means. They should get extensive training in personal emotional and meditative skills to cultivate true contentment, so that one of the important ques- tions they have to answer before they graduate is, how happy are you really? Your voice here today is being heard worldwide. Against it is the whole TV nation, twenty-four hours a day giving your com- patriots—good, kind people all over the country—a completely distorted vision of what is really going on here. To break through that you will need to be persistent. You are making your voices STILLFROMAVIDEOBYVELCROWRIPPER The Cool Heroes of Zuccotti Park Determined, insightful, nonviolent—Buddhist scholar ROBERT THURMAN tells the protesters of Occupy Wall Street that they’re just the kind of people the country needs. Adapted from a speech by Robert Thurman to Occupy Wall Street protesters in Zuccotti Park in New York’s Liberty Plaza on October 13.