Don’t Set Out to Save the World
When we are training in the art of peace, we are not given any promises that, because of our noble intentions, everything will be okay. In fact, there are no promises of fruition at all. Instead, we are encouraged to simply look deeply at joy and sorrow, at laughing and crying, at hoping and fearing, at all that lives and dies. We learn that what truly heals is gratitude and tenderness.
It isn’t that we say, “It doesn’t matter about me all that much, but if I changed the world, it would be better for other people.” It’s less complicated than that. We don’t set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people’s hearts.
When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
I get these daily quotes from Shambala Publications. Sometimes I find them applicable to my life. I love the way they give me something to think about, a new way of looking at my spiritual life.
This quote in particular seems relevant to what we’re experiencing in the United States at the present time. I thought things were contentious before the election, now it’s getting downright pathetic. I find I cannot listen to the news or to pundits on the news. I have to shield myself from all of the raw anger. Because I get angry, and if I’m angry, I have lost peace.
Everyone has an opinion these days and no one wants to listen to anyone else’s opinion. They try to drown each other out, one yelling louder than the other, playing gotcha all day long. I am tired of it now.
I’ve always been political, coming from a politically interested family, but now I find myself detesting politics more and more. Every day there is something we must become irate about, something that is “frightening” to the liberal part of our country, then something equally frightening to the right. I hope it ends soon.
Until it does, I will continue to turn off TV, not needing to save the world. The world can save itself. I’m just going to meander peacefully through my days.