Compassion and Kindness
G Sakamoto

When the fury and the fires subside there will be much need for healing. Responding to anger with anger will not resolve the causes that give rise to anger. Confrontation, accusations, submission will push down the anger only to smolder until some incident ignites the real and perceived injustices. A path of reconciliation has no assurance for peace until we see each other as ourselves in a common humanity.

Look for the examples that show the way to peace. Look for those who share and build on acknowledging the needs of others as our own. Expand on the ideas that dissipate the injustices that suppress the dignity of others. Check to see if we carry in ourselves the prejudices that we speak against. Be mindful of our own rhetoric that can hurt another just as much as an intended slur.

There are inequities in the world. Inequities that result in the division of society and anger. Why are there working families living in cars? How is it possible for someone to buy properties then displace the residents? If its for the good of the community how can the displaced lives not a part of our community? Why are some able to profit from the misfortune of others? This pandemic has exposed the effects of disparities in the access to resources. Many of us could choose to isolate while others could not. For some the decision to go to work was to help others in this time of great need for others going to work was driven by the need to survive. Their choice is to go to work or lose their job.

We can do better. We must do better.

At the Betsuin we have been engaged in our community for a very long time. Through the work of organizations and activities like Sangha Support, Sangha Crafters, Dana Club, Disaster Relief Fund, EcoSangha, food drives, clothing drives, Project Gratitude, many, many other efforts expressing awareness of the needs of others and now in the midst of this pandemic volunteers have made hundreds of peanut butter and jam sandwiches to distribute to the homeless.

Sandwich makers led by Ed Nodohara

We must build on the kindness and compassion we value. A compassion that comes from the recognition of the other as myself. We can continue to deepen our understanding of and the joy in our shared, common humanity that embraces all.