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United Way of Lancaster County


Who’s the Enemy?


I couldn’t take any more of the news. I’ve been impressed and inspired by all those protesting and then conversely disappointed by words and actions of our top dog. I’m on information overload and working hard to feel calm. I’ve been meditating again, 5 or 10 minutes here and there each day, usually guided ones with my Insight Timer app.

Tonight instead of watching the news I watched a documentary about the Dalai Lama. His messages are all about love and compassion and he stresses the importance of inner peace. He has many great quotes but one that especially struck me tonight was:

“Destruction of your enemy is destruction of yourself.” Dalai Lama

I’m not even sure who the enemy is anymore. We have been dealing for months with a silent killer in the virus and it has felt like an enemy. It has brought up systemic injustices and we’re already feeling weary, threatened, and vulnerable. Then you add to the mix an act of blatant racial injustice and it’s the  straw that breaks the camel’s back. Protests everywhere! Systemic changes need to happen but how does that happen? We’ve been trying for decades, even centuries, and we’ve made some improvements but they seem slight at the moment. We are societies of people and if we destroy everyone who acts unjustly or unfairly we’ll all be gone.

Maybe it’s helpful to see the enemies as qualities and traits rather than specific people? I propose that  the real enemies are fear, ignorance, and greed and the answers start with looking within ourselves. To work on our own blind spots, our own thoughts and actions that add to these injustices. We all have shadow sides and parts that aren’t perfect. Maybe the goal is to make friends with these parts within ourselves and learn to look at them honestly rather than deny them or run away from them or only see them in others.

Like I said, I’ve been impressed by the protests. It’s important we use our voices, to stand up for what we feel is right, and to continue to fight for equality and justice AND we need to continue to examine ourselves. I’ll end with another quote: "The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates