An attack in New Zealand, fear about a possible attack in the Netherlands, President Trump yelling, Belgian youth shouting and blaming, Paris looking like a war zone, over 50 refugees drowning, …

I’m in Morocco, watching a news recap, horrified and for a moment, deeply sad.

Where will all this lead us?

What can I do right here and right now?

Trying to understand is one thing that I know that I can do.

We all have our reasons for acting. We all feel fear, desire and anger but how we act upon these feelings is entirely up to us.

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk, tells us that “if we don’t have enough compassion within us, we can’t do much to help the world. As we, ourselves are at the center, we represent the world, we are one. Peace, love and happiness must always begin with ourselves”.

We don’t help the world turn into a better place by loudly venting our opinions and blaming other people.

There is absolutely no point in more violence because of violence.

Left and right. Black and white. Right and wrong.

Over and over again; we fight.

I studied economics but that seems about 12 million light years ago. And it also seems that I lived in a different galaxy back then.

A galaxy of global governance and global economy ideas instead of a time ruled by economies of fear and protectionism that will just redistribute wealth in most cases.

And I get it that people want ‘change’ in the US and Europe.
From the outside, it looks like a lot of governments have put on a convincing charade for years.

Consequently, people and parties that make an explicit choice in the things that they do not want any more are very successful right now. Explaining what they do want and how to get there seems of lesser importance, it’s all about changing the current position.

Only violence seems to resonate

But why, please explain to me, why does it all need to be so violent?
The yelling, the cursing and blaming: Is that really necessary to be heard?

Everywhere I look, people are venting their anger, suffering and dissatisfaction.
Often not in the least linked to what they are actually protesting against, it’s just venting and being angry because it feels kind of good to do so.

Even the self help books these days all need to have screaming titles, using all kind of power and F* words.

And the scary part is that the messages in those books and the messages that I hear in political speeches can be interpreted as being very similar.

Totally twisted and ripped out of context but I can see the overlaps as these kinds of messages have an effect right now, they resonate.

“Take care of yourself first!
Take control, take your power back as you have been giving too much.
We are done sharing and caring for others, it’s me first now.”

I know for a fact that we can never be done sharing and caring for others.

Yes, we have to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others but one does not entirely exclude the other.
Together we can accomplish so much more instead of wasting all this energy in fighting.

It is crystal clear to me that violence can never be the answer. Not violence in our acts but also not in our words or in our thoughts.

We can be passionate about a cause, incredibly passionate even but could we possibly be activists and vow fully to a principle of active kindness?

Is it possible to show our younger generations that we have evolved and can disagree whilst deeply respecting each other?

It’s this message that I wanted to share with you today.

Elaborating a little bit on the very first principle of the yoga philosophy and how to put that into daily practice. How this ancient wisdom can guide us in these turbulent times.

What can you do right here and right now?

Show compassion, be nice, be you and create peace of mind in order for others to see that violence in whatever form is not the answer.

Very practically?

Show an act of kindness within 3 minutes after reading this blog.

Do ‘something’ nice for another human being or mankind. Just because.
Because we can never stop caring, sharing and giving.

Really no inspiration?

  • Give a well meant compliment
  • Send a really nice text message to someone
  • Give a hug (best not to random people you don’t know, ask first…)
  • Ask for a hug
  • Tell someone you love them
  • Forgive that ‘%;:$mo’ person for acting the way they did
  • Call mom
  • Try to understand someone’s reasoning before judging
  • Be the kindest driver ever in traffic
  • Smile
  • Meditate on love and kindness
  • ….

Will this undo crimes or bring people back?

No. But it can be the beginning of something that transcends violence and makes more people realize that we are truly all one. And you, you can be a part of that.

Thank you for reading!

Rachel Bonkink
Yoga teacher and life coach to passionate people. Rachel is the owner of Revealing Vajra, a successful yoga retreat business, and hosts about 12-15 retreats per year anywhere in the world, from Morocco to Costa Rica and Scotland. Rachel lives by the beach in Morocco and is currently writing a book on yoga philosophy and mental wellness.

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