So how do we proceed in our quest for happiness? Very often, we look outside. We think that if we could gather this and that, all our emotional needs would be met and realized. Thus we would have everything to be happy. That very sentence already reveals the fate of happiness: destruction.
To have everything, as if we miss something. And also, when things go wrong, we try to repair and control everything, but our control is limited, transitory, and misconception. For example, in the Middle East, in looking at all that violence for the Prophet Muhammad I have one question, “What exactly did all that killing accomplish?” What did all the hatred and anger create? How did all this better your world or humanity? Instead, as the days and months move forward, I look to the message of love Ambassador Christopher Stevens had for the people of Libya versus the despicable acts of Terry Jones, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and others, by looking the depths of our soul, at the very anger itself.
Wouldn’t it be nice to build something greater from within than hatred itself? Wouldn’t it be nice to live in the love that God and Allah had chosen for us? Isn’t it possible to transform our minds, to transform the very nature of who we are?
Our world is not that unlike a mirror, after a long sleep, everything, the good, the bad and the ugly, rises to the top and becomes reflective. Thus, the violent protests which erupted in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Palestinian territories is nothing more than a part of our soul, of the world’s soul. It’s hurting. And thus, like any pain sensor of our own body, it rises and finds its way to all who surround us.
On CNN’s Belief Blog, noted author Brian D. McLarenr phrased the argument quite well:
“If I could get one message through to my evangelical friends, it would be this: The greatest threat to evangelicalism is evangelicals who tolerate hate and who promote hate camouflaged as piety.
The broad highway of us-them thinking and the offense-outrage-revenge reaction cycle leads to self-destruction. There is a better way, the way of Christ who, when reviled, did not revile in return, who when insulted, did not insult in return, and who taught his followers to love even those who define themselves as enemies.
Yes, “they” – the tiny minority of Muslims who turn piety into violence – have big problems of their own. But the way of Christ requires all who claim to be Christians to examine our own eyes for planks before trying to perform first aid on the eyes of others. We must admit that we have our own tiny minority whose message and methods we have not firmly, unitedly and publicly repudiated and rejected.“
Meditators and great meditators (unlike me) alike have been reflecting on pain for a very long time. In truth, meditation will not pay the bills, feed to poor, trim your nails, complete your daily tasks, paint the deck, wash the car, or fill the gas tank. But what it does do is allow us to release the pain and negativity of all that hatred and resentment. And by releasing anger, we reveal compassion. And compassion is what can be placed into accomplishment.
If we do so, we will never have to hide.