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miércoles, julio 26, 2006

Please Stop

Look at this. It doesn't matter if it's Baghdad, Haifa, Gaza City, Kabul, Tikrit, or Tyre (which this is). It doesn't matter who started it. It doesn't matter how this was done. It doesn't matter who's right. It doesn't matter whose fault it is. None of this matters in any immediate way. People are dying. Some are woman and children and infants. Some are old and sick. Some are utterly innocent of perpetuating violence, others have reveled in destruction. Some will argue about the justifications for this. Some, who really should know better, will debate this. But when you look at this directly, when you contemplate this destruction and death, all of that justifying and all of that talk just doesn't matter. This must stop. Not just immediately, for the next short while, in the few places that show up selectively on TV. This must stop.

Is this unrealistic? Is this idealistic? Is this naive? Is it immature? Is it childish? Is this somehow the wrong thing to say or think? I wonder how many times I am going to have to see this picture or an equivalent one. I wonder how many more people will have to die or be maimed and injured. I wonder when we, you and I, will finally stop.

There is a wonderful story about Angulimala, a murderer who wore a necklace of fingers around his neck, one from each of his nearly 100 victims. Once he encountered the Buddha while the Buddha was begging. The long and the short of their encounter: the Buddha was unafraid and told him to stop. And miracle of miracles he could, and he did. He took the three refuges and became a monk. The murderer's name was changed to Ahimsaka, the nonviolent one.

Who will tell us to stop now? Who among us will listen? Who among us will stop? How can we change our names? Dear G-d, let there be Shalom, Salaam, Peace.


Anonymous Jessie said...

It will never stop so long as there's a profit to be made on guns or oil, or a population to keep cowed. These wars are all about greed - for power and money. Human life is cheaper than a barrel of oil and less useful. There should be a worldwide ban on weapons of war - that way, people would have to try to kill each other with sticks and stones.

11:04 a.m.  
Anonymous c. gray said...

Beautiful, true post - like good medicine. I suspect it's not idealistic that presidents or secretaries of state or segments of populations of nations could be the "Buddha" for our current "Angulimalas". His was a fearlessness different than the kind of assumed, pasted on "non-fear" you see with "No Fear" bumper stickers and talk of retaliatory, "Let's roll." Perhaps it was a fearlessness born of a long term commitment to acceptance and letting go. Perhaps it was the fruit of facing the Angulimala in himself first. Stop war now, please.

10:58 a.m.  

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