Compassion & Non-Violence

There are certain virtues for which I am extremely passionate and others in which I’d like to be more dedicated. Living a life of compassion and love may be the biggest virtue for myself: treating all people with love, no matter what they’ve done; loving myself unconditionally; loving life/God for everything. I find a lot of positive energy in these beliefs and that many obstacles can be overcome or dealt with in a smoother manner by these beliefs.

In light of Osama bin Laden’s death, I am feeling a combination of things. I do not believe in the death penalty and I do not like that this form of justice had to come at the expense of a life being taken, yet I feel this is progress (or rather, hope it is).

I started contemplating what it would be like to live a life of complete compassion and pacifism. I wonder how people like Gandhi did it. When I think of how I’d respond if my life were threatened, say, by an attacker, I envision myself fighting for my life and if absolutely necessary, killing said person in defense. It feels weird to believe this and also believe a life of compassion is the best way. Then I wonder if my need to defend my life is out of natural instinct or ego. If we believe death is merely a transition, then we shouldn’t fear it. If we don’t fear death, it seems we should then not be afraid for our life if it is threatened. Likewise, if we cling to wanting to stay in this life, it seems that attachment would originate from the ego.

Perhaps I am looking to have a completely black and white perception and belief system in life. I find myself in this rut at times, where I only see two sides, polar opposites. I understand there are no rules I have to follow concerning these beliefs, but I want to live the best life I can for myself and others. Perhaps it is to just be one of my life’s mysteries that don’t have to be solved now… or ever.

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