Earlier today there were seventeen people at Dudley’s where we discussed the TED talk 3 lessons of revolutionary love in a time of rage by Valarie Kaur. It was a great talk and a wonderful discussion filled with heartfelt insights, but once again it wasn’t enough for me. It was like the frequent discussions of love in that it doesn’t mean much if it remains words and isn’t built into the person’s behavior.
Love must come out in the form of kind acts for other people and if it doesn’t come out clearly enough to affect them in a positive way it won’t affect the person thinking love in a positive way either. The idea gets wordy but the concept is easy to practice. Observe what will help other people and do the acts that will help them.
The TED talk was largely about the Sikh concept of forgiveness, which is very broad and deep. My problem with our group was that, because it wasn’t part of our daily culture, talking about it, even deeply, wouldn’t be enough to make it part of our normal habit structure. Therefore, when it came to my turn to talk for three minutes, I said, “We need to practice this concept of forgiveness for it to become real. A way that we can do this is to think of a person who violated us in some way that we feel we need to forgive in a deeper way than we have done so far. I am going to close my eyes for fifteen seconds and remember an event where I felt violated and now in my imagination, I will forgive them for fifteen seconds. Join me, now.” I then closed my eyes and thought about how my father had repeatedly abandoned my mother and me for months at a time. I thought about that for a few seconds and then said clearly to myself, I know you were basically a good and honest man and you must have had good reasons for doing what you did. I forgive you and will think often of the wonderful things you did for me and for others. I then opened my eyes and said Thank you out loud so the others could complete their meditation.
Think now of a person who violated you and close your eyes and forgive them.