Just For Today…I will be kind to all living things
Seems straightforward enough, right? Well, it can still be a challenge to follow this principle every day, but with enough practice, kindness will become a state of being more than an act – an approach to life.
I see two facets to this principle. Firstly, I take it as a reminder to be kind to others, and secondly, it is a reminder that we should also be kind to ourselves – love ourselves and be kind to ourselves as much as we would to some other person we love.
If we keep in mind that in the grand scheme of things, we are all One, we are all connected, we can easily be kind to others. This is something we are all taught at a young age – to treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves. How many parents have told their children “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Of course, this doesn’t mean we allow others to abuse us, but we can respond to all life gives us with kindness.
Buddhist philosopher Thich Nhat Hanh writes,
“A human being is an animal, a part of nature. But we single ourselves out from the rest of nature. We classify other animals and living beings as nature, as if we ourselves are not part of it. Then we pose the question, “How should I deal with Nature?” We should deal with nature the way we deal with ourselves! Harming nature is harming ourselves, and vice versa.”
Embracing a vegetarian diet is one way to significantly increase the kindness quotient in your life. I have already talked about eating meat in a previous post, so I won’t go too much on about it here. More and more we are seeing scientists agree that animals are sentient beings who can experience a range of emotional states. The way we are treating animals on a large scale is abhorrent and a reflection of how modern civilization has forgotten the interconnectedness of all things. I see progress on the animal rights front, but it still has a long way to go. Naturally, as more and more people join the Unity Consciousness, the harm being done to the living Earth will decrease accordingly.
We must treat ourselves with kindness. I know many compassionate people, healers, therapists, parents, who will bend over backwards to help someone else and yet not give themselves the simple favor of kindness. We give ourselves negative self-talk, harsh criticisms, doubt ourselves, hold back in fear. Where is the kindness? We may never speak a harsh word to another, and yet our minds are a never-ending flow of insults to our own being. No. We must also be kind to ourselves. We are to be included in “all living things.”
Thinking of becoming Vegetarian or Vegan? Here’s a great site to help you get started: http://www.chooseveg.com/transition