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Lions Roar : November 2016
LION’S ROAR | NOVEMBER 2016 45 Let’s Be Civil CHARLES JOHNSON Good citizenship is based on civility. We can achieve this if we mindfully practice two things: humility and egoless listening. These practices reinforce one another. They involve deep listening to discover how others reveal them- selves to us, moment by moment, and letting go of everything but the basic assumption that others want happiness and freedom from suffering, just as we do. Beyond this assumption, we should not project our fantasies, ideas, or desires onto others. After all, other people will always be a mystery that outstrips our perceptions and conceptions. When we experience anger, it is helpful if we pause to remember that our lives are remarkably brief and our deaths can come at any moment. In this way, we see how our worldly desires and con- flicts with others are both sad and ephemeral. CHARLES JOHNSON is the author of Taming the Ox: Buddhist Stories and Reflections on Politics, Race, Culture, and Spiritual Practice. You Make All the Difference KAREN MAEZEN MILLER Be generous with your attention, that you might dispel the loneliness and isolation that divide us. Be generous with your time and money. They go furthest when freed from your own hands. Make room for all the people—even if they’re the majority—who don’t think or act like you. Make an enemy of no one. Be humble. Let others speak. Let others rant. Give argument no mind. Your opinion alters no one’s. Be humble. Have abundant patience and trust, knowing that things change in ways you cannot predict. Recognize hate as fear, greed as poverty, and ignorance as our common plight. Have faith. Spread cheer. Do good. With an open heart and clear mind, vote. Everything you think, say, and do, however small, has a monumental consequence. Your influence is boundless, so take infinite care. You make all the difference in the world today. Give it all you’ve got. KAREN MAEZEN MILLER is a priest at the Hazy Moon Zen Center in Los Angeles. Her most recent book is Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden. PHOTO©REUTERS/DAVIDRYDER/ALAMY