When you get your daily download of news, it seems that a majority of the world’s countries and cultures are embroiled in some type of conflict. The obvious areas are the Middle East, Africa, South America, and Central Asia. However, these conflicts have drawn in everyone and every country.
These conflicts have two major common elements. They are either centered on religion and religous beliefs or they are rooted in socio-economic struggle. As I ponder why this is so pervasive I am struck by the fact that we seem to be in this mess because everyone is so polarized in their beliefs and no one wants to talk. To me this makes no sense logically. After all if one is really secure in their knowledge and belief systems, engaging in dialogue with someone of different views is not a threat. so it is true with your belief in what ever religous doctrine you choose to ascribe to as your view of “the truth”.
The world sorely needs for us to talk to one another now more than ever. But to talk about how we can accomodate one another, not to debate the right or wrongness of the others beliefs or positions. We all have the right to believe whatever we wish to believe.
Paradoxically, the beliefs we hold so important are best shared without self-importance. Indeed, wouldn’t it be a different world if people of all persuasions were able to share and compare their beliefs without self-importance?
Choyki Nyima Rinpoche taught in the Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen that:
“The correct view is free from extremes. It is the state beyond concepts, transcending mental fabrications. It is inexpressible, inconceivable and indescribable. If one has any attachment or clinging, one does not have the right view: the true view is without fixation.”
As I thought about this a little while watching the swans on the river in Bedford England from my room in the Swan Hotel I thought we as individuals can effect change in a little way by demanding our leaders engage in dialogue, no matter the opponent, the conflict, or the offenses each have committed against the other. The object of any leader is to resolve the conflict. The preferred way is peacefully and that starts with talking to one another.
So take a few minutes and write an email to your leader and demand they talk to the “other side”. To immediately begin a dialogue. Maybe even give them a little lesson in how to talk and encourage them to be brave and not dogmatic. to consider the positions and look for the compromises. Each of us has that capability and who knows. It may be like Grandma’s chicken soup and curing a cold. It may not help but it certainly can’t hurt!