(thanks for the inspiration BC)
Have a look at this story posted by one of my Kali sisters.
It tells of a man whose wife left him because he didn't put his dishes in the sink or dishwasher. I know. I thought the same thing --- MASSIVE OVERREACTION. But, is it?
Even the author came to the understanding that it was not the act itself, which was trivial, it was the implication of the act that made her realize she was not treasured or valued; that she was considered subservient to him. This is ultimately what made her decide to leave.
None of us are alone - we are surrounded by people who care for us and contribute to who we are and who we ultimately become. If we choose well, we are surrounded by such people - friends, co-workers, family, partners, teachers who inspire us and who make us want to be better than who we are right now.
Largely as products of our environment, we depend on others for our sense of self. Abusive relationships are typified by denying the victim their self-worth and identity as someone worthy of love and attention. There is no sin more cruel.
As martial artists we know that what we do begins and ends with respect - for ourselves, for each other, for the sacred art we study. Training together empowers us to live our lives fully, and our study of zen delivers to us the understanding of each precious detail of our lives and those who share it with us.
This story made me sad - Later, it filled me with hope. I hope this can encourage everyone to appreciate the little things people do for us each day, to feel overflowing gratitude for everyone who shines a light into our loneliness, and to acknowledge that our being is connected completely to those around us. It is not just those closest to us, but the people we encounter along the way. As this story points out, even the smallest of actions can convey love, respect, acceptance, equality.
Recently one of my close relatives posted about losing a friend to suicide, and the emptiness and regret she felt after knowing he was gone and wishing she could have done something about it. We cannot turn back the hands of time, but we can always try our best to give those around us our attention - a human touch. Sometimes that's all a person needs to feel better. I have no doubt she is kind to everyone, including him, but I also have no doubt that each of us can try a little harder to make the world a better, kinder place. The Way of the Peaceful Warrior is Compassion.
This story made me desperate to treat those people around me just a little bit better than before. This treatment can fix a lot of ills - illness in relationships with everyone around us. Your smile, your eyes, and your words can save more lives than you imagine. Try to open your heart just a little more. This treatment will not only help those around you, it will help you, too.
Let's start our treatment today. Together.