External Conflict

No one is the enemy. I am all people in all their ugly delusions. I am the enemy of my present self in my past, when I believed things I can now no longer tolerate because I know better. Though I must vigorously oppose harmful ideologies, I can never oppose or hate people. We must always maintain our ability to empathize and see past the smokescreens of blinding ideologies to the human beings behind them. Those who believe themselves “woke” are especially susceptible to hating the ignorant because the ignorance of the ignorant is so obviously and blatantly ugly. Our ignorance is more subtle; it is found in the ease by which we fall out of empathy for those who have less awareness.

The great temptation of justice work is falling into hatred for the sake of love. During times of great external conflict, our growth is learning how to say a strong “No” to evil while maintaining an inner reverence for the sacredness of life. Even in confrontation, it is possible to maintain an open, free heart grounded in lovingkindness. The battle is lost when we internalize the essence of what we oppose.

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