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Lions Roar : July 2012
As human beings, we have the power to shift our destiny. How- ever, in a culture that encourages us either to be working, or recovering from work through shopping and entertainment, it is hard to make time for self-reflection. In that case, we are suffo- cating our possibilities. As we can see in the life of my father, even one brave and determined person can have a very big impact. Are we going to be brave? What must we do now? First, we need to make time for self-reflection, and cultivate the habit. Otherwise it’s hard to contextualize who we are. Then, we have to shift our value system, creating a climate where kindness is as valid as ambition. The root of the word kind is “kin”—family. When we are kind, we are looking at each other as brothers and sisters. Is that how we regard each other now? When social interaction is rooted in the awareness of human worthiness and its expression, kindness, the networks we weave make a strong and resilient fabric. That is how we create an environment that expresses lightness and humor, with an appre- ciation of life and the goodness of who we are. These are the building blocks of an enlightened society. It is not a utopia, but a place where we celebrate humanity, which makes life worth living. It affects education, ecology, the arts, and politics. That’s the spirit my father brought out of Tibet. We bring such a society into being by strengthening our conviction in humanity’s goodness. We do this by taking a few moments and feeling what’s beneath all our daily concerns. This trains us to become familiar with the simplicity of now, the only place and time that we can touch this deep inner reality, which brings a feeling of worthiness. Even though we may not trust it or believe it, just allowing for that possibility has an impact on what we say and do. In that moment, we are determining the outcome of the universe. ♦ Reality is an illusion—present company excepted. To order audio and videotapes of PEMA CHödröN‘s teachings: Great Path Tapes: (269) 384-4167