Seeing others as yourself

So this is the practice of shining light. We look at somebody in the Sangha and ask ourselves if we are like that person. Maybe we are a twin of that person. We are exactly like that person. When we look at that person we see ourselves, and when we see ourselves we have to practice straight away to change the situation. We have a weakness and we know we have that weakness. Whenever we see that we have a weakness, we accept that we have that weakness. That is awakening; that is enlightenment. Our success in the practice is due to these moments of enlightenment. “I have that weakness and I accept that I have that weakness.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Living is not all that hard. Living at peace with your fellow beings is not all that hard either. All you have to do is understand that they are people to, and see the world from their perspective. Or at least try.

In times of War, it is often easier to de-humanize the enemy. Turn them into monsters or some sort of subhuman creature. It is easier on ‘your side’ to justify killing them. However, I think that we need to step back from this. We need to keep thinking of these people as people. This should not stop us from defending ourselves, however it should be done with the realization that we are killing real people with mothers and fathers and children. Diplomacy should always be our first option, killing our last.

I think that the Taser gun is a great advancement. I know that there have been deaths associated with the Tasers, and people are all up in arms about this. I ask this however – Which would you rather get shot with? A real gun or a taser? One gives you a chance of survival, one is incredibly destructive to the body. Where ever possible, less then lethal weapons should be used to capture criminals.

And do not get me wrong, terrorists are simply criminals. Their crimes are grand in scope, but criminals they are none the less. To treat them as combatants in a war gives them and their cause more credibility then they deserve. They are enemies of peace, however they are no different then gangsters. They should be treated as such. Apprehended, and tried for their crimes.

It takes the wind out of their sails as well. Look at Saddam. If he died in a desperate firefight, he might have become a martyr. Now, he is just a sad old man, standing trial for his crimes.

3 thoughts on “Seeing others as yourself”

  1. You mentioned on my blog that you had added Generation Kill to your wishlist.

    It talks a bit about this issue, and even more demonstrates the mindset of the First Recon Marines the book is about.

    In some ways, extremely scary. Between our Marine training and perhaps the environment they were raised in, we have been able to create some very very efficient killers.

    In a war, this is a good thing (although the very need for such a thing is regrettable) but the fact that we can create these people, who in other respects are pretty normal, is troubling.

  2. I saw a Discovery channel special on that same issue. The stat’s that I recall were:

    Before WWI/WWI about 10% of combatants were effective (killing the enemy)

    During WWII about 20% effective

    Now, 95% effective

    It’s all about the training that we give our troops. I totally support our troops – and taking an active role in our national defense. However, I do not support overt agression simply ‘because’.

  3. Another enjoyable post.

    Years ago I read a book called <i>On Killing</i> by Dave Grossman. It discussed a lot of things, but mainly "how efficient" they’ve become in getting combat soldiers to kill. An interesting read…

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