We live in a world consumed with strife, in Syria, in the Ukraine especially in the news, but across there globe there is strife. People become consumed by anger and bitterness. I was reflected on that when I was reading on ancient Buddhism, which was very much a protest movement. John Macquarrie called Buddha one of the mediators, the "stars in the human sky".
I particularly was taken by this quotation from Buddha, which I think is demonstrably true: "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." Anger, to Buddha, is a poison in the mind. It has a corrosive effect on relationships.
As Barbara O'Brien said:
"Buddhism teaches that anger is never justified, however. Our practice is to cultivate metta, a loving kindness toward all beings that is free of selfish attachment. "All beings" includes the guy who just cut you off at the exit ramp, the co-worker who takes credit for your ideas, and even someone close and trusted who betrays you. For this reason, when we become angry we must take great care not to act on our anger to hurt others. We must also take care not to hang on to our anger and give it a place to live and grow."
This poem is about anger, and why we must be mindful of its effects:
Time came crashing down, sledgehammer blows
That laid bare all pretence, a mirror face to face
Fury reflects in the silvered surface, anger shows
And time draws a finished line, losing the race
Across the globe, anger games erupt and destroy
The others become hate figures, to hurt and kick
And those that play the game, lash out to annoy
Like a hornets nest, coming to the attack so quick
Buddha spoke of compassion, of healing of wrong
How anger destroys from within, an acid of hate
That battle cries should cease, and sing a new song
To let go, to forgive, and unburden great weight
Anger games destroy us, and make us so blind
It is time for mindfulness, and time to be kind
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