“Not by hating hatred ceases
In this world of tooth and claw;
Love alone from hate releases —
This is the Eternal Law.”
-the Dhammapada (v. 5)
Hate met with hate increases ten-fold, multiplying with every word and every deed. In the recent months, this has proven to be true as events unfurled around the country. Whether it is the assault on peaceful college protestors, the death of a hate filled minister, or some other situation, meeting hate with hate does little but continue the cycle. Hate is a poison that permeates the body, seeping into every muscle and fiber of being. Those who drink this poison often find themselves the victims instead of the victor.
More troubling than this though is the modern movement towards apathy. Dealing with the daily grind of society, the troubles and ills of the world and the pitfalls of modern existence will only produce volatile emotions for so long. Eventually apathy sets in; the uncaring attitude marking a transition from what could be a bright life to a grey and listless existence. This detachment becomes walls of ice and stone, sealing away the individual from the community and from any person who might be able to offer a hand. Eventually, this fog of life becomes so common in a persons life that they will simply watch as the world rolls past them, eyes glazed and moving from point in time to point in time.
If anger is a poison, apathy is a dulling drink. It makes the emotions we feel (if any) less palatable and blander. It removes the colors from the world and paints them in wide sweeping strokes of grey. Where there was once interest, now it is simply trudging along our individual paths waiting for some kind of respite to come (and often never coming) to end the doldrums. The words and deeds of loved ones and family members are like ash in your mouth.
Finding balance and harmony in life does not mean removing or ignoring emotions. It means finding a place where peace is at the center point of your actions and habits. The walls that apathy puts into place often block not only contact with others but also the flow of energy from the universe. Sooner or later the person behind the walls whiter like a tree with no light or air or water.